The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis occupies the seventeenth-century city palace that was built in Dutch classicist style for Johan Maurits, Prince of Nassau-Siegen. The museum’s relatively small but renowned collection consists of 850 objects, divided between two locations in The Hague: the Mauritshuis at Plein and the Prince William V Gallery at Buitenhof.
Nowhere in the Netherlands can you see as many impressive paintings per square meter as at the Mauritshuis. The museum has a world-famous collection of masterpieces from the seventeenth century, with Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring as the icing on the cake. The collection consists largely of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, with many iconic masterpieces such as Vermeer’s View of Delft, Frans Hals’s Laughing Boy, “As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young” by Jan Steen, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, and The Bull by Paulus Potter. An astonishing eleven paintings by Rembrandt are on display, including The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, Two African Men, and the painter’s final self-portrait. Also on view at the museum is a small but superb collection of Flemish paintings by artists including Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens. The public’s favorites include The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Rubens, as well as the recently-acquired Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels by Clara Peeters, from ca. 1615.
Also on display in The Hague are masterpieces by artists from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, including Memling, Gossaert, and Holbein. The oldest painting in the permanent exhibition is The Lamentation of Christ by Rogier van der Weyden and studio from ca. 1460-64.
Quentin Buvelot, Senior Curator (November 2023)
Related CODART publications
Alexandra Libby, Betsy Wieseman, and Quentin Buvelot, “Where Science Meets Art: Presenting Technical Material in Museum Galleries”, CODARTfeatures, January 2023.
Liselore Tissen, “3D Printing Works of Art: An Opportunity or Nightmare for Curators?”, CODARTfeatures, October 2022.
Dr. Emilie Gordenker, “The Case of Saul and David”, CODARTfeatures, June 2015.
Dr. Edwin Buijsen, “The Mauritshuis … on tour”, CODARTfeatures, March 2012.