The Hague, Netherlands
|Collection size||854 objects|
|Director||Emilie E. S. Gordenker|
|Owner||State of the Netherlands|
The Mauritshuis (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmʌurɪtsɦœys]; English: Maurice House) is an art museum in The Hague, Netherlands. The museum houses the Royal Cabinet of Paintings which consists of 854 objects, mostly Dutch Golden Age paintings. The collection contains works by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Hans Holbein the Younger, and others. Originally, the 17th century building was the residence of count John Maurice of Nassau. It is now the property of the government of the Netherlands and is listed in the top 100 Dutch heritage sites.
In 1631, John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen, a cousin of stadtholder Frederick Henry, bought a plot bordering the Binnenhof and the adjacent Hofvijver pond in The Hague, at that time the political centre of the Dutch Republic. On the plot, the Mauritshuis was built as a home between 1636 and 1641, during John Maurice's governorship of Dutch Brazil. The Dutch Classicist building was designed by the Dutch architects Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. The two-storey building is strictly symmetrical and contained four apartments and a great hall. Each apartment was designed with an antechamber, a chamber, a cabinet, and a cloakroom. Originally, the building had a cupola, which was destroyed in a fire in 1704.
After the death of Prince John Maurice in 1679, the house was owned by the Maes family, who leased the house to the Dutch government. In 1704, most of the interior of the Mauritshuis was destroyed by fire. The building was restored between 1708 and 1718.
In 1774, an art gallery open to the public was formed in what is now the Prince William V Gallery. That collection was seized by the French in 1795 and only partially recovered in 1808. The small gallery space soon proved to be too small, however, and in 1820, the Mauritshuis was bought by the Dutch state for the purpose of housing the Royal Cabinet of Paintings. In 1822, the Mauritshuis was opened to the public and housed the Royal Cabinet of Paintings and the Royal Cabinet of Rarities. In 1875, the entire museum became available for paintings.
The Mauritshuis was privatised in 1995. The foundation set up at that time took charge of both the building and the collection, which it was given on long-term loan. This building, which is the property of the state, is rented by the museum. In 2007, the museum announced its desire to expand. In 2010, the definitive design was presented. The museum would occupy a part of the nearby Sociëteit de Witte building. The two buildings would be connected via a tunnel, running underneath the Korte Vijverberg. The renovation started in 2012 and finished in 2014. During the renovation, about 100 of the museum's paintings were displayed in the Gemeentemuseum in the Highlights Mauritshuis exhibition. About 50 other paintings, including the Girl With the Pearl Earring, were on loan to exhibitions in the United States and Japan. The museum was reopened on 27 June 2014 by King Willem-Alexander.
Controversy over the colonial past of Prince Maurice
In 1664 Prince John Maurice ordered a marble bust portrait of himself for the garden of the Mauritshuis, the Prince’s residence in the Hague. The statue was sculpted by the Flemish sculptor Bartholomeus Eggers. Prince Maurice had the bust moved to the burial chamber (Fürstengruft) in Siegen which he had built for himself in 1670.
In 1986 a copy of the statue made in plastic was placed inside the Mauritshuis. The bust was removed from the Mauritshuis in 2017 amidst controversy over Holland's colonial history and Prince John Maurice's role in the slave trade. The Mauritshuis museum has denied that the removal had anything to do with the controversy and has stated that the decision was taken on the grounds that the object was solely a copy made of plastic and the museum was unable to offer the necessary historical context for it in the foyer of the Mauritshuis where it was exhibited. The museum has since created a webpage dedicated to explaining the role of the Prince in the creation of the museum's building and collection and the museum's current view of the Prince. The statements on the page highlight the key role the Prince played in the slave trade in Brasil and how his immense wealth was likely sourced (in certain cases even in breach of then existing rules) from his involvement in the slave trade.
The collection of paintings of stadtholder William V, Prince of Orange was presented to the Dutch state by his son, King William I. This collection formed the basis of the Royal Cabinet of Paintings of around 200 paintings. The collection is currently called the Royal Picture Gallery. The current collection consists of almost 800 paintings and focusses on Dutch and Flemish artists, such as Pieter Brueghel, Paulus Potter, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacob van Ruisdael, Johannes Vermeer, and Rogier van der Weyden. There are also works of Hans Holbein in the collection in the Mauritshuis.
Rembrandt van Rijn
Jan Baptist Xavery
Bust of William IV, Prince of Orange (1733)
Peter Paul Rubens
Night scene (c. 1616/17)
On the ice (c. 1610)
Anthony van Dyck
Portrait of Quintijn Symons (c. 1634)
Kitchen scene with Christ and the disciples at Emmaus (c. 1563)
Wooded Landscape with Farmsteads (c. 1665)
In the period 2005–2011, the Mauritshuis had between 205,000 and 262,000 visitors per year. In 2011, the museum was the 13th most visited museum in the Netherlands. In 2012, when the museum closed for renovation on 1 April, it received 45,981 visitors. The museum was closed all of 2013 and was reopened on 27 June 2014.
- Address and directions Archived 2017-12-12 at the Wayback Machine, Mauritshuis. Retrieved on 16 June 2014.
- "The Mauritshuis is turned into a museum". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on August 23, 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- Search the collection Archived 2017-09-05 at the Wayback Machine, Mauritshuis. Retrieved on 2 August 2019.
- Mauritshuis Museum: Annual Report 2018 Archived 2019-07-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2 August 2019.
- Who we are Archived 2017-12-12 at the Wayback Machine, Mauritshuis. Retrieved on 2 August 2019.
- "Location and garden". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "The building". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "The 17th-century interior". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Fire and restoration". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "The Mauritshuis is turned into a museum". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Mauritshuis presenteert voorlopig ontwerp". Architectuur.org (in Dutch). 22 June 2010. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "Mauritshuis aast op De Witte" (PDF). Den Haag Centraal. 3 August 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 31, 2013.
- "Mauritshuis vanaf morgen voor twee jaar gesloten". Trouw (in Dutch). April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.; "Mauritshuis wordt nooit een hal". De Volkskrant. 23 June 2010. Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- "Highlights Mauritshuis". Gemeentemuseum. Archived from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
- (in Dutch) Nando Kasteleijn, "Het Mauritshuis is weer open. Dit moet je weten over het vernieuwde museum Archived 2015-10-16 at the Wayback Machine", NRC Handelsblad, 2014. Retrieved on 28 June 2014.
- Susie Protschky, Between corporate and familial responsibility: Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen and masculine governance in Europe and the Dutch colonial world, in: Susan Broomhall and Jacqueline van Gent (eds), 'Governing Masculinities: Regulating Selves and Others in the Early Modern Period', Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011, p. 162
- Vincent van Velsen, The Mauritshuis Bust and the Volatile Heritage Debate in the Netherlands Archived 2021-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, in Frieze, 5 February 2018
- ‘’Bust Johan Maurits’’ Archived 2020-08-09 at the Wayback Machine, published on 15 January 2018, at the Mauritshuis website
- "Page on Johan Maurits at the Mauritshuis website". Archived from the original on 2021-06-06. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
- "History of the collection". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on June 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- "Prince Willem V". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-08.; "Royal acquisitions". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-08.; "Acquisitions policy". Mauritshuis. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- (in Dutch) Top 55 Museumbezoek 2010 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Museumvereniging. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- (in Dutch) Musea, erfgoed Archived 2020-05-28 at the Wayback Machine, Municipality of The Hague. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- Annual Report 2011 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Mauritshuis. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- (in Dutch) Top 55 Museumbezoek 2011 Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine, Museumvereniging. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- Annual Report 2012 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Mauritshuis. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- Mauritshuis Opening on 27 June 2014 Archived 22 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine (press release), Mauritshuis, 2013. Retrieved on 21 June 2014.
- Mauritshuis Museum: Annual Report 2015 Archived 2022-06-09 at the Wayback Machine.
- Mauritshuis Museum: Annual Report 2016 Archived 2019-08-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Mauritshuis Museum: Annual Report 2017 Archived 2019-08-02 at the Wayback Machine.
- Successful inaugural year for Mauritshuis Archived 2017-12-12 at the Wayback Machine (press release), Mauritshuis, 2014. Retrieved on 23 June 2015.