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, Den Haag) 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, joing 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]


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.



  • 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