- Room 2 (253) Jan Breughel the Elder & Peter Paul Rubens – The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man, c. 1615
Two Flemish masters on a canvas! Breughel worked on the exotic animals while Rubens worked on Adam and Eve, the tree, the horse and the serpent.
It is the earthly paradise depicting Adam and Eve moments away before the consumption of the forbidden fruit. A truly mesmerizing landscape!
- Room 2 (266) Willem van Haecht – Apelles Painting Campaspe, c. 1630
This is the story of Alexander the Great visiting the studio of Apelles, while the artist is painting the portrait of his mistress Campaspe.
In this painting, the depiction of kunstkamer (picture gallery) interior filled with paintings, statues, architecture elements and further rooms beyond, is very engaging. Just delve into each painting within this painting!
- Room 3 (1150) Peter Paul Rubens – Old Woman and Boy with Candles, c. 1616 – 1617
A painting portraying an old woman holding her lit candle and shielding it when a young boy leans over her shoulder to share her flame.
The shimmering candlelight illuminates both faces of the elderly woman and the boy melodramatically. A gesture which represents the passing of wisdom. I can relate.
- Room 8 (785) Hendrick Avercamp – Ice Scene, c. 1610
This painting is quintessentially a Dutch winter landscape with its iconic windmills, drawbridge and depiction of life on the canals. A painting full of stories! Can you spot the woman flipping up her skirt in the air as she falls over thus revealing her bare bottom?
- Room 9 (146) Rembrandt van Rijn – The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp, 1632
A group portrait of Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons at Dr. Tulp’s anatomy lesson. According to my research, a public dissection was allowed once a year and the body would have to be that of an executed male criminal. Anatomy lessons were social events in the 17th century and the general public were permitted to attend for a fee. The Guild commissioned this group portrait and Rembrandt won this opportunity. A painting I can not forget.
- Room 12 (136) Paulus Potter – The Bull, 1647
A true Dutch nature painting on a grand scale! It is life size showing intricate details of the cow’s whiskers and flies resting on the bull’s back. For a second, you would forget this is just a painting. Life-size livestock comes alive in a museum!
- Room 14 (1032) Frans Hals, Laughing Boy, c. 1625
This cheerfully laughing boy circular portrait is not a portrait, but a tronie genre. Laughing figures are unusual and most difficult to capture on canvas. Despite the boy’s messy hair and his mouthful of brown decaying teeth, his sparkly eyes brighten up my mood. A painting full of personality.
- Room 14 (605) Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, 1654
Fabritius was a pupil of Rembrandt who died young in the infamous gunpowder magazine explosion in Delft that destroyed a quarter of Delft in 1654. The Goldfinch is one of his only 11 works that survived the tragedy. This small painting highlights a goldfinch sitting on its feeder, shackled to its perch by a chain. It shot to fame as the subject of Donna Tartt’s novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014 among others. It is absolutely a tiny masterpiece!
- Room 15 (92) Johannes Vermeer – View of Delft, c. 1660 – 1661
It is renowned as one of the most realistic paintings of the city of Delft. The colorful rooftops skyline and the delicate cityscape reflections on the water created a sense of depth. Not forgetting the ominous clouds above. Typical Dutch weather don’t you think?
- Room 15 (670) Johannes Vermeer – Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665
Meet the most famous girl in The Hague! Vermeer’s mysterious Mona Lisa; half smiling, half pouting expressive young girl wearing a head scarf and an eye-catching pearl earring. It is a tronie – a painting of an imaginary figure. This painting has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902. She is a sensation!
I am not an artist nor do I know much about art. So do not take my word for it and go check out these paintings yourself! With only 16 rooms spread across two floors, it is not difficult to find your way around.
The Mauritshuis is home to the best of Dutch paintings from the Golden Age.
Tip: Download Mauritshuis app audio guide prior to your visit. You are able to browse all the art works on display as you walk through the museum. Don’t forget to bring your earpiece along! Visitors without a smartphone are able to hire a device for €3.50.
The Mauritshuis app is available in Dutch and English. The highlight exhibit is also available in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese and Russian.
Address: Plein 29. 2511CS Den Haag.
Opening Hours: Monday from 1pm-6pm. Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun from 10am-6pm. On Thursday from 10am-8pm.
Entrance Fees: €15.50 for adults and free entry for all under the age of 19 years. Free entry for Museumkaart holders. Click link for further information and more on combi-tickets. https://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/visit/plan-your-visit/prices-and-times/Getting There: About 12 minutes walk from Den Haag Centraal Station.