Several pictures and drawings of this view were made by the brothers Jacob Elias and Paulus Constantijn La Fargue, who both worked mainly in The Hague. The fullest account of these views was recently given by C. Dumas (op.cit., pp. 396-403). As he points out, the basis for these would seem to have been a now lost sketch for Jacob Elias' picture dated 1759 of the French ambassador, the Comte d'Affry, visiting the young Stadhouder Willem V of Orange on 17 May of that year (op.cit., fig. 5). Paulus Constantijn made one picture (op.cit., fig 6, private collection, The Hague) and three drawings of the same view. The present lot, datable to circa 1778, is the latest version of these, the others are in the Gemeentearchief, The Hague (op.cit., fig. 7, dated 1768) and in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem (op.cit., fig. 9, datable to circa 1770). In the late 1780s Karel la Fargue seems to have drawn two similar drawings for prints by Jan Gerritsz. Visser, published in De Haagsche, Princelijke en Koninglijke Almanach, The Hague, 1790 (op.cit., figs. 10-1).
Dumas (op.cit.) dates this to circa 1778 as it is a pendant to a drawing with a view of the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague, dated 1778 (sold at F. Muller, Amsterdam, 2-4 March 1954, lot 1089), now in the Haags Historisch Museum (inv.no. T 67-1954).
In contrast to the note in the 1975/6 catalogue, Dumas notes that this should certainly be dated after 1765 or even 1768 as the building of 's Lands Drukkerij constructed in 1765 is already visible, and as such may be compared to a similar view in the Gemeentearchief of The Hague dated 1768.
The Binnenhof complex was created in the 13th Century and became the seat of the Counts of Holland. Alterations and extensions have taken place until the present day. It has been the seat of the Dutch Parliament (Staten-Generaal) since 1585 when Prince Maurits lived here. The Ridderzaal was created in the 13th century and was reconstructed to its present state in 1900. The opening of the Staten-Generaal takes place here each year.
The Hoofdwacht on the Binnenhof was the main watch post of the garrison at The Hague, consisting of 67 men. These would greet and salute when Royal Company paid visit to the Binnenhof or when the Vergadering was dissolved. The lot shows the garrison at rest