May 29, 2011
May 21, 2011
Kleyn (1785–1816) was one of the first to win the Prix de Rome. In Paris he received an education from the well-known neoclassicist David and the landscape painter Bidauld. This painting is one of the works of art that Kleyn sent to his homeland to show the progress that he had made. The canvas describes the entrance of Saint-Cloud, a popular park near Paris. It is a sunny day and the park is filled with people enjoying themselves. Visitors are walking on the broad boulevards, children play in a fenced playground and on the left we spot an artist with his easel, perhaps a self-portrait.
After having resided in Rome as well, Kleyn went back to the Netherlands. There he took part in the Battle of Quatre Bras (1815), ironically, to defend his fatherland against Napoleon, who was trying to seize power again after his exile on Elba. In this battle, which took place shortly before the infamous Battle of Waterloo, Kleyn got badly injured. He died a few months later due to his sustained wounds, at only 30 years of age.