Prince William V Gallery

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Prince William V Gallery
Galerij Prins Willem V
The Gallery is on the 2nd floor of the building in the center. On the right is the entrance to both gallery and the adjacent Museum Gevangenpoort
The Gallery is on the 2nd floor of the building in the center. On the right is the entrance to both gallery and the adjacent Museum Gevangenpoort
Established1774 (1774)
LocationThe Hague
Coordinates52°4′45.9″N 4°18′37.39″E / 52.079417°N 4.3103861°E / 52.079417; 4.3103861
TypeArt museum
AccreditationDutch Museum Association
CollectionsDutch Golden Age
Collection size± 150
Visitors29,236 (2017)
FounderWilliam V, Prince of Orange
Executive directorEmilie Gordenker
Business directorSander Uitdenbogaard
CuratorAriane van Suchtelen
ArchitectPhilip Willem Schonck
Public transit accessKneuterdijk / Lange Vijverberg
Nearest car parkHeulstraat
WebsiteOfficial website

The Prince William V Gallery is an art gallery on the Buitenhof in The Hague that currently shares an entrance with the Gevangenpoort museum. It is a recreation of the original gallery Galerij Prins Willem V, once founded there by William V, Prince of Orange in 1774. The displayed paintings are part of the collection of the Mauritshuis. Amongst the paintings on display are works by Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter and Gerard van Honthorst.


Though built in 1774, the gallery has not been continuously open, mostly because the collection was abducted by the French 20 years after it opened and another 20 years passed before most of the works were recovered. In the meantime another gallery was opened in nearby Huis ten Bosch and undeterred by events, Prince William continued collecting art for a new gallery. After recovery of most important works in 1815, the large collection was re-housed in 1822 in the Mauritshuis. The old location was kept on as an archive. It wasn't reopened as an art gallery until 1977.

Original 1774 gallery[edit]

The collection of paintings of the gallery had been established by previous stadtholders of the Netherlands, members of the House of Orange-Nassau. Prince William V inherited the family collection when he was just four years old, after his father died. At that time the paintings were spread out over a number of his residences. The prince took up a special interest in paintings and made his first buy when he was fifteen years old. Sometimes he would acquire an entire collection, such as the Govert van Slingelandt collection in 1768. In 1763 he instructed his court painter Tethart Haag to create an inventory of his extensive collection. The latter also served as curator to the collection of paintings owned by the stadtholder and was his chief adviser in the purchase of paintings. The prince aspired to be seen as an equal to the great monarchs of Europe and the possession of a great art collection was, at that time, considered to be an element typical of such a status. He decided to bring his collection together in one location, so he could present it to his guests. To that end he bought two adjacent houses near his residence in The Hague, where he planned for the construction of an art gallery for his collection. During this process Tethart Haag served as his main advisor. The gallery was consequently built in 1773–1774, according to the wishes of the prince and under the direction of Tethart Haag. In 1774 the gallery opened, and in addition to the guests of the prince, it became the first museum in the Netherlands where the general public was allowed to visit. The prince appointed Tethart Haag as the first director of the art gallery-museum. In 1795 the collection was abducted by the French and housed in the Louvre as war booty. Under a later treaty many paintings were recovered in 1815, but many were not, such as the portrait of William III of Orange, now in the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon.

Some of the more notable works that were abducted to France and came back were:

image title painter date Mauritshuis #ID
Portrait of Robert Cheseman (1485-1547) by Hans Holbein (II).jpg
Portrarit of Robert Cheeseman Hans Holbein 1533 276
Jan Brueghel de Oude en Peter Paul Rubens - Het aards paradijs met de zondeval van Adam en Eva.jpg
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man Peter Paul Rubens
Jan Brueghel the Elder
1617 253
Anthony van Dyck 089.jpg
Portrait of Anna Wake (1605-1669) Anthony van Dyck 1628 240
Willem van Haecht (II) - Apelles painting Campaspe - 2.jpg
Appelles painting Campaspe Willem van Haecht 1630 266
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 145.jpg
Simeon's song of praise Rembrandt 1631 145
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 151.jpg
Susanna Rembrandt 1636 147
The feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.jpg
The feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis Abraham Bloemaert 1638 17
Ambulatory of the New Church in Delft c1651 Gerard Houckgeest.jpg
Choir of the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft with the tomb of William the Silent Gerard Houckgeest 1651 57
Caesar Boetius van Everdingen 001.jpg
Allegorical portrait of the Steyn family as scene of Diogenes Caesar van Everdingen 1652 39
Gerard Dou 006.jpg
The young mother Gerrit Dou 1658 32
Willem van de Velde (II) 007.jpg
Ships on a Calm Sea Willem van de Velde the Younger 1658 200
Adriaen van Ostade 027.jpg
Peasants in an inn Adriaen van Ostade 1662 128
Gabriel Metsu - A Young Woman Composing Music and a Curious Man.JPG
A Woman Writing Music Gabriël Metsu 1663 94
Flower still life with a watch by Willem van Aelst.jpg
Flower Still life with a watch Willem van Aelst 1663 2
Beach View by Adriaen van de Velde Mauritshuis 198.jpg
Beach scene Adriaen van de Velde 1665 198
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 134.jpg
Self-portrait 1669 Rembrandt 1669 840

Modern gallery[edit]

Since 2010, museum visitors can view the restored art gallery that can be reached through a special staircase that connects the two buildings. The collection which hangs here is a modern reconstruction of the original 1774 art cabinet that was situated upstairs above a fencing school. The paintings, taken from various collections, hang crowded together on the walls in the style of the late 18th century. An effort is made to create an impression of the original gallery, rather than any historical accuracy in the choice where which paintings hang specifically. Former top pieces from the gallery such as Potter's Young Bull hang elsewhere, and the gallery itself underwent several changes in exhibition format after it reopened in 1815. Purchases made to replace lost paintings grew the collection so that in 1822 the collection (then called Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen te 's-Gravenhage) was moved to the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery which remains the formal owner of the paintings on display. The location was used as an archive until it reopened in 1977, but closed again as it underwent restoration work in 1993-1994 and in 2009.


Coordinates: 52°04′46″N 4°18′37″E / 52.0794°N 4.3104°E / 52.0794; 4.3104