In continuation of yesterdays post and upon the discovery of a camera chip full of photographs taken in 2008 inside a camera that Little Mr. destroyed as a toddler, I’m taking you on a tour of part of the Hague city centre.
There’s a beautiful building standing next to the complex of Parliament buildings called the Binnenhof.
This building is called the Mauritshuis (Maurice House) and was originally built in 1641 as the home of army officer Count John Maurice, who was also Prince of Nassau-Siegen and cousin of stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.
Prince John Maurice had a distinguished military career and Wikipedia tells us:
“The Dutch Classicist building was designed by the Dutch architects Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. The two-story building is strictly symmetrical and contained four apartments and a great hall.
Each apartment was designed with an antechamber, a chamber, a cabinet, and a cloakroom. Originally, the building had a cupola, which was destroyed in a fire in 1704.
In 1675 Prince John Maurice’s health compelled him to give up active military service, and he spent his last years in his beloved Cleves, where he died in December 1679.
After his death the house was owned by the Maes family, who leased the house to the Dutch government. In 1704, most of the interior of the Mauritshuis was destroyed by fire. The building was restored between 1708 and 1718.
In 1820, the Mauritshuis was bought by the Dutch state for the purpose of housing the Royal Cabinet of Paintings.”
The Mauritshuis now houses a large art collection, including paintings by Dutch painters such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter and Frans Hals and works of the German painter Hans Holbein the Younger.
The Mauritshuis was opened as a public art museum in 1882 but is currently closed to the public due to long term renovation work taking place between 2012 and mid 2014 that will include a new underground foyer.
It is still possible to see many of the Old Masters though because they have been temporarily re-housed in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
On the day of our April 2008 walking tour we didn’t go inside the Mauritshuis, but the outside is still beautiful…
There is a time-lapse clip of the work being done so far on this YouTube video uploaded on the Mauritshuis website.
Billboards outside in 2008 featured Frans Hals “Laughing child“
Rembrandt van Rijn’s “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp”(1632)