Admire over 800 works of art in Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.
Does Vermeer’s world-famous Girl with a Pearl Earring look like Scarlett Johansson, the actress who played her in the motion picture of the same name? Decide for yourself by visiting the Mauritshuis museum, just a seven-minute walk from The Hague Central Station.
Girl with a Pearl Earring may well have you mesmerized. But do leave ample time to admire some of the other 840 works of art in the Mauritshuis, or in fact the building itself. The Mauritshuis (‘Maurice House’), built in 1644 as a residence for Count John Maurice of Nassau, was carefully restored between 2012 and 2014. It houses the Dutch Royal Cabinet of Paintings, as well as the Dutch Royal Cabinet of Rarities. (Inspire younger visitors to come along by mentioning the fact that such a Harry Potter-esque thing exists in the first place).
The majority of the paintings in the Mauritshuis museum are from the Dutch Golden Age of Painting. You’ll find works by Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, and Paulus Potter among them. Scenes from Dutch middle-class life in the 1600s are a common subject. Take a unique peek into the domestic life of those days by studying the paintings closely. Paintings by Johannes Vermeer often feature the same room and the same window in his house in Delft. Vermeer was only 43 when he passed away, leaving 36 paintings, 3 of which are in the Mauritshuis. Fascinated by light, color and perspective, Vermeer used only the very best pigments he could afford. He would carefully apply layer upon layer of color to make the drape of a dress reflect light realistically. Fast-forward 350 years, and the results are still breathtaking.
Another famous painting in the Mauritshuis that stars in a popular work of fiction, is The Goldfinch (‘Het puttertje’). The 2013 book was written by Donna Tartt; the little goldfinch chained to a feeding station was painted by Carel Fabritius in 1654. Fabritius, incidentally, may have had some influence on Vermeer’s painting techniques. One thing sustaining this theory is the uncanny level of photorealism achieved in The Goldfinch. Position yourself at the right angle, and the bird appears to sit in front of the canvas. A marveling sight indeed.
Plein 29 2511 CS Den HaagOpening hours:
Monday 1 a.m to 6 p.m. Tuesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Location:
Den HaagMore details: