The map is from the Beudeker Collection, comprising 24 volumes of maps and views of the Netherlands, 1660-1756 compiled by the Amsterdam merchant Christoffel Beudeker and acquired by the British Museum in 1861.
Louis XIV, determined to extend the frontiers of France by both diplomatic and military means, set up the Chambres de Reunion, special courts whose task was to examine old deeds and charters and thus establish some legal basis for his territorial claims. The Duchy of Luxembourg was occupied by French troops in September 1681 after the Metz Chambre de Reunion had decided that it had once belonged to France. The city, however, held out until June 1684 after a siege culminating in devastating bombardment.
Romeyn de Hooghe, an Amsterdam engraver and draughtsman specialising in political and religious allegories as well as views and plans of great events of his day, produced this etching showing a bird’s-eye view of the final stages of the siege. The view depicts the devastated town, whilst the allegorical scene around the cartouche shows the figure of France on the right banishing the figure of justice on the left.
- Article by:
- James Elliot
- Town and city, Transforming topography
James Elliot discusses town and city maps from the 17th to the 19th century, and the ways in which they reflect the issues of urban growth.