Mauritshuis museum in The Hague


This video is called Johannes Vermeer.

The Mauritshuis is the main art museum of The Hague.

It was built in the seventeenth century as a private home for Johan Maurits van Nassau, the governor of Brazil, then for some time a Dutch colony.

In the seventeenth century, the nickname of the Mauritshuis was the Sugar House, as Governor van Nassau made lots of money from the sugar plantations in Brazil.

These plantations had been conquered by the Dutch from the Portuguese. Portugal was then occupied by Spain; the Dutch republic was at war with Spain.

The new Dutch owners found out that in order to maximize sugar profits, they had to import extra slaves from Africa.

To make that possible, they conquered the important Portuguese slave export port Luanda in Angola.

That made the Dutch major players in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which they had not been until then.

In this way, war begot slavery, and slavery begot war.

Today, the Mauritshuis collection includes important works of art.

The oldest works in the collection date from the fifteenth century. So, shortly after the beginning of oil painting in Europe by Italian and Flemish Renaissance painters long after it had started originally in Afghanistan, in the Bamyan caves. The newest works in the Mauritshuis are from the late eighteenth century. There is some sculpture, about twenty pieces; a few drawings and prints; but most are paintings: about 800.

The focus is on Dutch seventeenth century painting, often considered the “golden age” of Dutch art. There is work by Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, and others.

Here is a video about a famous Vermeer painting at the Mauritshuis.

There are also works by Antwerp painter Rubens (1577-1640), and other Flemish artists like Van Dyck. German artist Hans Holbein the Younger is also represented. There are a few Italian and French paintings; including a still life by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.

Dutch painter Jan Lievens: here.

11 thoughts on “Mauritshuis museum in The Hague

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