If you love the old masters of Dutch art history, you will love the Mauritshuis in The Hague. It’s a showcase of art made in the Golden Era of the Netherlands. The art on display is not only beautiful to see, but also offers snapshots of 17th century Holland. A must if you visit the country! So here’s what you can expect from a visit to the museum.
Mauritshuis: historical building
The original building Mauritshuis was built in the 17th century. So when you take the stairs from the modern entrance hall into the museum you experience what it’s like to time travel. The beautiful building has old style wallpaper and ceiling ornaments, an in-style environment for the paintings, that are from the 17th century too.
The great masters
The museum mostly shows eye popping work by celebrities like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Rubens, Breughel en Steen. You probably know Vermeer’s famous View on Delft or Rembrandt’s The anatomy lesson by dr. Nicolaes Tulp. They are incredible skilled paintings, but you can be surprised by the other works. My discovery was that Vermeer’s Diana and her nymphs attracted me stronger than his famed Girl with the pearl earring. Likewise I was drawn by a super detailed painting called Maria and child by Quinten Massys, a painter I hadn’t ever heard of.
Since June the museum has an extra card on the table; an underground entrance hall right beneath the Mauritshuis. It even dives under the adjacent street towards the opposite Art Deco building. This building was added to the museum last June (2014), doubling the museum’s exhibition space. You can continue your time travel here: the current temporary exhibition shows the history of the Mauritshouse from it’s early designs through the centuries to the recent renovation. It’s all displayed with ample audio/video material.
De Museologue recommends this museum, because…
- You can see everything in the museum within two hours
- If you love 17th century masters your jaws will drop
- It’s like a vacation trip to the golden era of the Netherlands
- You can see the Prime Minister’s tower/office from the window
- The coffee corner is exceptionally cozy
- The museum shop is limited; no stacks of greedy-making books and posters…
- the subterranean hall disorients your brain as you find yourself looking for the coffee corner, toilets or museum entrance…