Help showcasing Nijmegen’s history through murals!

Nijmegen’s city centre reveals little of what has happened there in the past. Erika Manders and Dennis Jussen, historians at Radboud University, want to bring Nijmegen's history to life in the Waalpaintings project. The plan is to create fifteen large murals in the city centre depicting historical events and created by artists who have an affinity with Nijmegen. The murals will brighten up the city and highlight its history, for locals and tourists alike. ‘It should be like a physical picture book of Nijmegen history,’ Dennis and Erika explain. ‘What we want is for you to be transported back to the events of that time when you look at the murals. And we’re asking for your help.’ Would you like to help make this project a reality and to highlight the history of Nijmegen?

The first mural has already been completed thanks to a grant from the Brediusstichting. With this mural on the side of the Holland Casino, Studio Hartebeest has brought the Byzantine princess Theophanu back to the city.

The next mural that Erika and Dennis want to add deals with the Treaties of Nijmegen. Nowhere in the city centre can you find anything about the key position that Nijmegen occupied on the international stage in the 1770s and the stories associated with it. The mural seeks to change this. The mural will be painted in the Kerkegasje on Burchtstraat, right in the heart of where the events surrounding the Treaties of Nijmegen once took place. The artists have already been chosen: Rosalie de Graaf, who works under the name of RoosArt, and Vincent William, aka Combolution. Both have lived and studied in Nijmegen.


Treaties of Nijmegen
For a short time, in 1678-1679, Nijmegen was the political centre of Europe when eleven peace treaties between major Western European states and bishoprics were concluded, putting an end to the many wars that plagued Europe. But first there were negotiations in Nijmegen that took more than two years. The arrival of international diplomats in the city was a great spectacle for the people of Nijmegen. The ambassadors stayed in the city’s grandest houses and travelled by carriage, rivalling one another in the number of horses. The visitors prompted an influx of artists, musicians and prostitutes, but were also a source of entertainment themselves. Following the birth of the emperor’s son, the Austrian ambassador had a wine fountain erected on the Grote Markt. Coins were scattered to the accompaniment of the gushing fountain – a 17th-century baby shower!

RoosArt and Combolution
The mural will be painted by Rosalie de Graaf (RoosArt) and Vincent William (Combolution). RoosArt’s Instagram post about her mural in Arnhem showing Putin and Trump kissing each other on the mouth went viral. Her murals can now be admired worldwide. She recently made headlines with her painted feed silos on a pig farm in her home region of De Achterhoek. Vincent has considerable experience in creating historical murals. He painted a mural about the bombing of Nijmegen in the Scheidemakershof near Plein 1944. 

He is a socially engaged artist who has decorated many walls at home and abroad, and who wants to bring everyone into contact with art through initiatives like The Big Draw and creative workshops.  Rosalie and Vincent are inspired by the story of the Treaties of Nijmegen and join forces to create two beautiful murals in the underpass at Kerkegasje.

Would you like to help?
Do you want to help brighten up the centre of Nijmegen? Are you interested in history? And street art? You can help us to create the mural about the Treaties of Nijmegen by making a donation. We need €12,000 for the mural, which will be about 100 square metres. Any amount is welcome!

Read more?
Would you like to know more about the Waalpaintings? Or perhaps you’re interested in finding out which historical events we plan to depict in the city, and at which locations. Read more on this website.

The Waalpaintings project is an initiative of Erika Manders and Dennis Jussen, in collaboration with Vincent William (Combolution), Maaike van den Heuvel and Gerco Hiddink (both from Studio Hartebeest) and Marijn Gielen, Faculty of Arts, Radboud University.

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Muurschilderingen gereed!

26-04-2021 | 11:15 Hartelijk dank aan alle dontateurs die dit mogelijk hebben gemaakt! Volgende maand ontvangen ze informatie over de bedankjes die bij hun donatie horen.   Op de muur aan de kant van het stadhuis beeldt kunstenares Rosalie de Graaf het vredesverdrag tussen Nederland en Frankrijk in 1678 uit. Dennis Jussen: „De mensen op de muur zijn naar eigen ingeving vormgegeven, maar zijn gebaseerd op echte portretten van de Nederlandse en Franse ambassadeurs. De Nederlander is bijvoorbeeld sober gekleed vanwege het heersende calvinisme in Nederland, terwijl de Fransman met zijn rode kleding erg uitbundig is.’’ Aan de kant van de Grote Markt laat kunstenaar Vincent William de absurde toestanden in de stad rond die tijd zien. „Rijken vanuit verschillende steden kwamen toen naar Nijmegen’’, zegt Jussen. „Dat zorgde voor gekke situaties. Een Duitse gezant bracht bijvoorbeeld een wijnfontein naar de markt om de geboorte van de zoon van de keizer te vieren. Ook strooide hij met geld, wat rechts op de muurschildering terug is te vinden. Gewone Nijmegenaren moesten hard werken om rond te komen, dus dit soort gebeurtenissen maakten grote indruk op hen.’’  
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