The Objects

4th Mar 1815

Source: gallica.bnf.fr, with permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France

‘Les Anglais chez ma Tante à Bruxelles’/ ‘The English at my Aunt’s in Brussels’

Contributed by: Tim Clayton

By 4th March 1815, news of Napoleon’s escape from Elba had not yet reached Paris. Today’s entry is a reminder that while Napoleon was adding a new chapter to the history books, Parisian cultural life was still being influenced by the influx of British visitors who had arrived on the Continent after the Emperor had been sent into exile. Plays, prints and novels of the first Restoration of 1814-15 had taken full advantage of the comic potential of the new arrivals...

‘The English at my Aunt’s in Brussels’ was published on 4 March 1815 and followed on 11 March by a companion print, ‘Divertissement des Anglais en Belgique ou le Soupé chez Mamour’. The French artist, Jean-Baptiste Genty, was a pupil of the more famous Jacques-Louis David, and exhibited miniatures. He published a large number of prints during 1815, both for and against Napoleon, including a substantial number with English themes. This print shows three English officers visiting a brothel in Brussels, the 'aunt' of the title. A British army had moved into the Netherlands in December 1813 to support the revolt against Napoleon and had remained there to help enforce the unification of Belgium with Holland as the United Netherlands, an arrangement to which most Belgians were hostile.

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