Victor de Stuers

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Victor de Stuers, painted by P. de Josselin de Jong.

Victor Eugène Louis de Stuers (20 October 1843, Maastricht – 21 March 1916, The Hague) was a Dutch art historian, lawyer, civil servant and politician. He was highly active in the cultural field – he is widely regarded as the father of historic preservation in the Netherlands, played a notable part in keeping Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring in the Netherlands and chose the architect Pierre Cuypers (a fellow Catholic and fellow Limburger) to design the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


Self portrait (1869)

Education and career[edit]

He studied law in Leiden and is still known there for his drawings in the old tower of the Academy building (Academiegebouw). After graduation he became a lawyer in The Hague but continued his interests in art and preservation science, joining several committees on art restoration.

Drawings by Victor de Stuers in the Academiegebouw Leiden (1865)[edit]


He was the first head of a conservation department in the Dutch government and his department was later renamed Monuments after he died.[1]


Victor de Stuersprijs[edit]

The Victor de Stuersprijs[2] is presented annually since 1987 by the municipality of Maastricht. The award is intended for architects, clients or institutions that play an important role in the preservation of the cultural heritage or the promotion of the urban development or architectural quality in the city of Maastricht. In even years, the prize is awarded to a new development project and in odd years to a restoration project.

Previous winners of the architecture award include: Wiel Arets (1987), Arno Meijs (1998), Hubert-Jan Henket (2000), Jo Coenen and Bruno Albert (2008), Fred Humblé (2012), Mathieu Bruls (2014) and Misak Terzibasiyan (2017). The heritage prize was awarded, among other things, for the conversion of major monuments by Maastricht University (1993) and for the restorations of the Basilica of Saint Servatius (1990), the old Friars Minor monastery (1997), the Jesuit mountain (2001), the Kruisherenhotel (2005), the Kasteelhoeve Borgharen (2009) and the Huis de Pelikaan (2011).

Marriage and issue[edit]

In 1893 he married Aurelia Carolina, countess van Limburg Stirum and lady van de Wiersse (1853–1906) – they had one child, Alice de Stuers, lady van de Wiersse (1895–1988), who married William Edward Gatacre (1878–1953) in 1926.


  • Da capo. Een woord over regeering, kunst en oude monumenten. 's-Gravenhage, Thieme, 1875.
  • Beknopte beschrijving van de kunstvoorwerpen, tentoongesteld in het Koninklijk kabinet van schilderijen te 's-Gravenhage. 's Gravenhage, 1875.
  • Het Binnenhof en 's lands gebouwen in de residentie. 's Gravenhage, Van Stockum, 1891.


  1. ^ Stuers in the Dictionary of Art Historians
  2. ^ "Victor de Stuersprijs". Gemeente Maastricht (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-10-02.


  • J.A.C. Tillema (1982): Victor de Stuers : ideeën van een individualist, Assen, uitgeverij Van Gorcum
  • Jos Perry (2004): Ons fatsoen als natie – Victor de Stuers 1843–1916, Amsterdam, uitgeverij Sun
House of Representatives of the Netherlands
Preceded by
Jan Truijen
Member for Weert
Succeeded by
Henri van Groenendael