Museum De Lakenhal is Leiden’s museum of art and history. Ever since the museum was founded in 1874, it has occupied premises in the monumental “Laecken-Halle,” which was built in 1640. The museum’s wide-ranging collection, with over 23,000 objects, contains masterpieces such as Lucas van Leyden’s Last Judgement, dated ca. 1526/27. Other highlights from the collection of Old Masters include A Peddler Selling Spectacles by Rembrandt, The Astronomer by Gerrit Dou, Vanitas Still Life with Portrait of a Young Painter by David Bailly, Frolicking Couple in a Landscape by Jan Steen, and View of Leiden from the Northeast by Jan van Goyen.
In addition, the city’s turbulent history is illuminated in diverse exhibitions of the collection focusing on historical events of importance to Leiden, such as the Relief of Leiden on 3 October 1574. The museum also has a collection of modern art with works by Theo van Doesburg, as well as a 2011 photograph by Erwin Olaf called Liberty: Plague and Famine during the Siege of Leiden. The combination of new works, Old Masters, and modern art generates an unusual dialogue between past and present in the museum.
Related CODART publications
Maartje Beekman and Rosalie van Gulick, “Handing Over the Keys: Succession in Museum Curatorship – An interview with Christiaan Vogelaar and Janneke van Asperen”, CODARTfeatures, December 2022.
Femke Diercks, “Decorative Art in Museum De Lakenhal”, CODARTfeatures, March 2012.