Rijksmuseum Battle of Waterloo Painting: Visualize Victory!

Dive into Europe’s glorious war history at Rijksmuseum through the Battle of Waterloo painting by Jan William Pieneman!

The artist inspires millions of people visiting the Rijksmuseum with his powerful strokes showing humanity’s resilience.

Visitors planning to see the famous historical painting at the Rijksmuseum must know about its history, meaning, etc.

Read further to discover an in-depth analysis of the Battle of Waterloo masterpiece and find cheap tickets to see this victorious war painting! 

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Who Painted the Battle of Waterloo Rijksmuseum?

Jan Willem Pieneman painted Rijksmuseum’s largest painting of Battle of Waterloo in 1824.

He was a world-famous Dutch painter known for his historical and military-themed captivating paintings!

He focused specifically on events happening in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Napoleon Battle of Waterloo was one of his most famous art pieces.

He worked as the first director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam.

His hold on this position shows his mastery of various artistic techniques.

Jan Willem Pieneman was also the director of Rijksmuseum when its works were still on display at the Trippenhuis!

Another famous work by him is the Battle of Quatre Bras’ Prince of Orange, showing a minor war scene before the Battle of Waterloo. 

Description And Composition of the Painting

The painting shows a scene of the famous battle between the European army and Napoleon’s French forces.

The scene occurs in a small village near Brussels in Belgium in 1815. 

It is a significant turn of events scene, where the Duke of Wellington receives information about the arrival of the Prussian armed forces who will help them win. 

The painting is chaotic with many important figures, so let’s begin with the man on the horse at the center!

The man at the center of this massive piece is a portrait of the Duke of Wellington, who acted as the general of the European army during the battle.

Around the Duke are English officers wearing a captivating red and gold uniform.

The background is full of Dutch soldiers dressed in dark blue and red uniforms.

These dark uniforms make the bright figures in the foreground stand out, highlighting them as important people.

To the left of the Duke is a portrait of Lieutenant Colonel Fremantle.

He raises his hand in the air as he brings along the happy news of the arrival of the Prussian army.

To show the happiness in this painting, an officer at the left holds up a captured French flag in triumph!

In front of this officer’s horse is the disappointed General Cambronne, a prisoner of war. 

At the base of the left side of the painting is the famous portrait of the Crowned Prince William of Orange.

He is the most renowned figure in history and is known to be the hero of the battle!

A group of soldiers are carrying him since he received injuries in battle. 

Jan Willem Pieneman also focuses on the destruction every war brings along.

The harm is visible at the base of the painting, where you can see the soldiers’ corpses at the front. 

This scene takes place in front of a dull and cloudy after-sunset sky.

You can see the officer’s faces shining in the remaining sunlight to show their victory in battle. 

A guided tour of the Rijksmuseum is excellent for history buffs, as this painting has an exciting backstory full of twists and turns behind it!

Do I need a Ticket to see the Battle of Waterloo Exhibit?

You must have a Rijksmuseum admission ticket to see the famous painting of the Battle of Waterloo.

Visitors cannot buy entry tickets at Rijksmuseum; you must buy them online in advance.

The standard Rijksmuseum ticket gives you access to all permanent exhibitions, including the Battle of Waterloo painting, for €24!

Children 18 and under can enter the Rijksmuseum for free with this ticket!

History buffs and artists will love the guided Rijksmuseum tour, providing skip-the-line access to all rooms with an excellent professional tour guide for €45!

Where & when to see the Battle of Waterloo Painting?

The famous Battle of Waterloo masterpiece is displayed in room 1.12 in Rijksmuseum.

It is on the first floor of the Rijksmuseum and part of the 1800-1900 artwork collection. 

You can easily find this room by going to the library.

It is in the opposite direction of the corridor leading to room 1.1.

Since these rooms are not always crowded, you can visit here between 9 am and 5 pm, which are the Rijksmuseum opening hours.  

Plan a weekday visit to have the most calming experience! 

Journey of the Painting before arriving at the Rijksmuseum! 

People assume that the Rijksmuseum’s Battle of Waterloo painting was for Wellington, but Jan Willem Pieneman sold it to King William I.

Even though it was not for the Duke, he loved the scenes of the Battle painted by Pieneman and invited him to paint more portraits. 

In 1825, artists could see the preparatory sketches of the Battle of Waterloo on display in London’s Hyde Park temporary exhibition.

It was there for many months and attracted much attention from artists worldwide.

Every visitor coming to London to marvel at the display had an illustrated guide.

This guide provided an in-depth look at the backstory and characters in the painting.

This painting was also one of the first paintings owned by the Rijksmuseum and was on display in Trippenhuis before the Rijksmuseum had its separate building in 1885.

The Historical Backstory of the Painting of the Battle of Waterloo 

The Battle was a significant war that ended Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign in France.

Joined under Duke Wellington, the Dutch, British, Prussian, and Belgian armies aimed to end the war. 

The battle occurred in several stages and spread to different parts of Europe.

The French troops captured La Haye Sainte and many other spots for years and were confident of their win.

However, the arrival of the Prussian army on 18th June at around 5 pm changed their momentum.

This twist in the battle is in the Battle of Waterloo Rijksmuseum painting!

The winning of Wellington forces ended 23 years of destruction by the Napoleon wars!

Sadly, the battle left behind a trail of bodies of more than 50,000 soldiers from both sides.

Jan Willem Pieneman’s Painting Techniques use in Battle of Waterloo Painting

Jan Willem Pieneman's Painting Techniques use in Battle of Waterloo Painting
Image: Rijksmuseum.nl

Jan William Pieneman used the famous panoramic scale canvas in his massive painting.

The canvas size created a scenery effect people enjoyed seeing in the 19th century.

The oil painting is 567 centimeters tall and 823 centimeters tall and wide.

This canvas size makes visitors feel like they have entered the battlefield.

Pienerman was also well-known for his realistic paintings.

Every detail of the landscape, the faces of people, horses, etc., is perfect in the painting. 

He took care to show all the emotions to enhance the symbolism of the artwork.

The expressions of every character on the canvas provide a deeper look into the battle’s story. 

You can see the intensity of battle through his brilliant, striking composition!

This oil painting has depth and a 3D look because of Pieneman’s masterful use of light and shadow in the artwork.

One of his talents was to tell a narrative story through art, which is visible in the storytelling capability of this painting!

Artists, kids, and story lovers should have a look at the Battle of Waterloo painting for the best Rijksmuseum experience. 

Other Battle of Waterloo Paintings 

There are many Battle of Waterloo paintings made by famous artists from all over the world.

They all tell the same story, but each captures a different battle perspective.

Some other paintings that are a must-see for history lovers are:

  • Battle of Waterloo 1815 by William Sadler: The painting depicts the battleground scene, where hundreds of men fight under a smokey sky. 
  • Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford: This painting depicts a striking pose of the Duke of Wellington guiding his men in battle. 
  • Scotland Forever by Lady Elizabeth Butler: This painting is in the Leeds Art Gallery. It shows a front-view scene of British soldiers charging into battle.
  • Closing the Gates at Hougoumont by Robert Gibb: This painting is in the National War Museum, Edinburg. It shows the action-packed scene of the guards shutting the North Gates against the French soldiers at Hougoumont. 
  • The British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers by Felix Henri Emmanuel Philippoteaux: This painting depicts French soldiers clashing against the British. It is on display in Apsley Houses.
  • Battle of Waterloo by William Alan. This picture captures a faraway Battle scene where Napoleon puts in his last effort. It is in the Apsley House, London. 
  • Prussian Attack at Plancenoit by Adolf Northern. This painting shows the Prussian army attacking the Plancenoit streets. 
  • On the Evening of the Battle of Waterloo by Ernst Crofts: This painting in the Walker Art Gallery, England, depicts the gruesome aftermath of the Battle. You can see Napoleon retreating away from the battleground. 

Helpful Tips to Follow When Visiting Battle of Waterloo Painting Rijksmuseum

First-time visitors planning to explore the Rijksmuseum galleries to see the Battle of Waterloo painting will find these tips helpful!

  • Book your Rijksmuseum tickets online in advance! Booking tickets early ensures you get your preferred time slot. The tickets are not available offline.
  • If you plan to explore all the exhibitions at Rijksmuseum, begin your visit from the Gallery of Honors. This gallery is the most crowded space in the museum. 
  • Plan a schedule to ensure you cover all exhibition rooms. Our Rijksmuseum in 2 Hours article will help you with this!
  • Wear comfortable shoes so you can enjoy strolling around for long periods. 
  • Look for temporary exhibitions at the Rijksmuseum from the official website in advance to avoid missing out. 

FAQs on The Battle of Waterloo Painting

  1. What is the famous painting of the Battle of Waterloo?

    The famous Battle of Waterloo painting by Jan Willem Pieneman! It shows the scene of triumph on the faces of Wellington’s forces during the battle as they receive news about the arrival of the Prussian army. 

  2. How big is the Battle of Waterloo painting?

    The Battle of Waterloo painting canvas is 567 x 823 centimeters. 

  3. Where is Waterloo painting?

    The Napoleon Battle of Waterloo painting is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. You can find it on the first floor in room 1.12. 

  4. Who painted the Battle of Waterloo artwork at Rijksmuseum? 

    Jan Willem Pieneman painted the Battle of Waterloo artwork in 1824. It is now on display in the Rijksmuseum. 

  5. What is the Rijksmuseum ticket price for seeing the Battle of Waterloo painting?

    The standard Rijksmuseum ticket allows access to the permanent displays in the Rijksmuseum for €24 for adults. Kids 18 years and younger can enter the Rijksmuseum for free! 

  6. How long did it take to paint the Battle of Waterloo painting?

    The time Jan Willem Pieneman took to paint the Battle of Waterloo painting is unknown. 

  7. What happened during the Battle of Waterloo?

    The European forces joined under the Duke of Wellington. They fought to bring down the famous French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The Battle of Waterloo marks his final defeat after 23 years of fighting. 

  8. What makes the Rijksmuseum Battle of Waterloo painting unique?

    The size of Rijksmuseum’s Battle of Waterloo painting gives it a panoramic scenery effect. This effect captures the attention of all visitors. Hence, the artwork has a lifelike appearance.

  9. When was the Battle of Waterloo?

    The Battle occurred on 18th June 1815 near a small Brussels village in Belgium.

  10. Where can I see other Battle of Waterloo paintings?

    You can see other Battle of Waterloo paintings at the Apsley House and the Walker Art Gallery in London. 

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Featured Image : Facebook.com(Rijksmuseum)

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