Louis Haghe was born in Belgium and trained there as a painter and lithographer. He moved to London in 1832, where he operated a print publishing firm. He was also a founding member of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1832 and served as its president from 1873 to 1884. This watercolour seems to illustrate a fictive event woven around the backdrop of almost continual warfare in the Spanish-ruled Southern Netherlands during the 17th century, when Flemish towns were frequently besieged by foreign armies fighting the Spanish. When it was first exhibited, it was accompanied by a quote chosen by Haghe from Shakespeare’s 'Henry VI, part 2': ‘O War, thou son of Hell / Whom angry heavens do make their minister / Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part / Hot coals of vengeance!’


  • Title: The miseries of war
  • Creator: Louis Haghe
  • Date Created: 1850
  • Physical Dimensions: 63.0 x 83.5 cm image/sheet (sheet lined on paper and wrapped around wooden board); 95.0 x 116.5 x 7.5 cm frame
  • Provenance: Source unknown, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW in 1883
  • Type: Watercolour
  • Rights: Purchased 1883
  • External Link: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/1116/
  • Medium: watercolour and gum over pencil underdrawing
  • Signature & Date: Signed and dated l.l., "L. Haghe. 1850.".
  • Object Other Titles: The Miseries of War
  • Artist Country: Belgium, United Kingdom

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