Posts Tagged ‘Brussels


August Baron Lambermont – Stateman


He was born on March 25, 1819, Dion-le-Val, now in Belgium and died on March 7, 1905, Brussels.  A stateman who in 1863 helped free Belgium’s maritime commerce by negotiating a settlement of the Scheldt Question, the dispute over Dutch control of the maritime commerce of Antwerp, Belgium’s main port.

After distinguished service in Spain for the army of Queen Isabella II during the First Carlist War (1833-39), Lambermont returned to Belgium in 1842 and entered the foreign affairs ministry, where he remained for 63 years.  Seeing the importance of developing Belgium’s trade, he transferred to the commercial branch of the foreign office; in 1856 he began to work on freeing Belgian commerce on the Scheldt River, Antwerp’s only outlet to the sea.  His efforts made possible the signing of an international convention at Brussels in July 1863 that ended the remaining Dutch tolls on Antwerp’s maritime trade.  For that achievement he was made a baron.  He was also prominent between 1874 and 1890 at several international conferences dealing with the laws and customs of war and with Central African affairs. 

Reference:  The New Encyclopedia Britannica

Marie de Médicis – Queen Consort of King Henry IV of France

Daughter of Francesco de’ Medici

Marie de Médicis was born on April 26, 1573 in Florence and died in July 3, 1642 in Cologne.  Queen consort of King Henry IV of France (ruled 1589-1610) and from 1610 to1614, regent for her son, King Louis XIII (ruled 1610-43).  She was the daughter of Francesco de’ Medici, grand duke of Tuscany, and Joanna of Austria.  Shortly after Henry IV divorced his wife, Margaret, he married Mari (October 1600) in order to obtain a large dowry that would help him pay his debts.  In 1601 Marie gave birth to the dauphin Louis (the future Louis XIII), and during the following eight years she bore the King five more children.  Nevertheless, their relationship was strained.  Marie resented Henry’s endless infidelities, and the King despised her unscrupulous Florentine favorites, Concino Concini and his wife Leonara.  Upon the assassination of Henry IV (May 14, 1610) the Parliament of Paris proclaimed Marie regent for young King Louis XIII.

Guided by Concino (now the marquis d’ Ancre), Marie reversed Henry’s anti-Spanish policy.  She squandered the state’s revenues and made humiliating concessions to the rebellious nobles.  Although Louis XIII came of age to rule in September 1614, Marie and Ancre ignored him and continued to govern in his name.  on April 24, 1617, Louis’s favorite, Charles d’ Albert de Luynes, had Ancre assassinated.  Marie was then exiled to Blois, but in February 1619 she escaped and raised a revolt.  Her principal adviser, the future Cardinal de Richelieu, negotiated the peace by which she was allowed to set up her court at Angers.  Richelieu again won favorable terms for her after the defeat of her second rebellion (August 1620).  Readmitted to the King’s council in 1622, Marie obtained a cardinal’s hat for Richelieu, and in August 1624 she persuaded Louis to make him chief minister.  Richelieu, however, did not intend to be dominated by Marie.  He enraged her by rejecting the Franco-Spanish alliance and allying France with Protestant powers.  By 1628 Marie was the Cardinal’s worst enemy.  In the crisis known as the Day of the Dupes (Nov. 10, 1630), she demanded that Louis dismiss the minister.  Louis stood by Richelieu and in February 1631 banished Marie to Compiègne.  She fled to Brussels in the Spanish Netherlands in July 1631 and never returned to France.  Eleven years later she died destitute.

Marie de Médicis build the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, and in 1622-24 the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens decorated its galleries with 21 paintings, portraying the events of her life, that rank among his finest work. – The New Encyclopedia Britannica



Robert Adam (2 of 6)

He met Charles Hope in Brussels, and together they proceeded to Paris, where Robert fitted himself out in the latest fashion and set out to “lay in a stock of good acquaintance that may be of use to me hereafter.”  After fewer than three weeks in Paris, they set off for Italy by way of the south of France, visiting en route the Roman sites of Nimes, Arles, the Pont du Gard, and Montepellier.  They reached Genoa early in January 1755 and proceeded to Florence via Leghorn.  Arriving at the end of the month, they were immediately caught up in the social whirl for which Robert had hoped.

While he was in Florence Robert made the acquaintance of a man who was to have an important professional influence upon him.  This an was the talented young French architect and draftsman Charles-Louis Clerisseau, who agreed to accompany him on his tour as instructor and draftsman.  Clerisseau had been a student at the French Academy in Rome but had left in 1754 after a dispute with its director.  As a result of his friendship with Clerisseau,  Robert came in contact with avant-garde architectural theory in Rome.  “I hope,” he wrote, “to have my ideas greatly enlarged and my taste formed upon the solid foundation of genuine antiquity.”  Clerisseau agreed to

serve [him] as an antiquarian . . . teach [him] perspective and drawing . . . [and] give [him] copies of all      [Clerisseau’s] studies of the antique, bas-reliefs and other ornaments . . . .

Adam left Florence in February 1755 and travelled to Rome, where he had to decide whether to devote himself to elegant society or to architecture

If I am known in Rome to be an architect, if I am seen drawing or with a pencil in my hand, I cannot    enter into genteel company who will not admit an artist or, if they do admit him, will very probably rub   affronts on him in order to prevent his appearing at their card-playing, balls and concerts. (S.Mi.)

July 2020

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