The colours of the liberation
as told by the tapestry

The tapestry

A hundred years ago, on 22 November 1918, King Albert I entered liberated Brussels. After four years of war, his historic address to the United Chambers ushered in a new era. A government of National Union would implement major social reforms. Universal suffrage for men became a fact.

The Senate has recreated this event looking back from the autumn of 2018 with an interactive exhibition online and a unique artistic exhibition in its stately Reading Room. What catches the eye is a unique tapestry of the Senate, Le retour victorieux du Roi Albert à la tête de ses troupes à Bruxelles le 22 novembre 1918 ("King Albert returns triumphant at the head of his troops, Brussels, 22 November 1918").

It shows King Albert I on horseback, reviewing his troops before the Palace of Nations on 22 November 1918, surrounded by his family and military commanders. The people cheer him, and Members of Parliament and other policymakers look on from the Palace of Nations' balconies.

Its captivating subject and specific technique make this work of art a must both for art lovers and for anyone interested in history.

The tapestry's story starts in 1934. King Albert I was killed in an accident at Marche-les-Dames on 17 February. The Senate resolved to commission a tapestry to honour the dead king.