Magical Journeys to Europe

Sunday, November 1, 2015


One of the greatest art galleries in the Netherlands, the Hague’s Mauritshuis is home to one of the best collections of Dutch and Flemish paintings in the world. Often referred to as "the jewel box," the ornately elegant 17th-century city palace building was completed in 1644 to the designs of Jacob Van Campen. With Hofvijver Lake to one side and Parliament to another, the building is a textbook example of Dutch classical architecture, in the heart of the Hague.

With approximately 800 works, the Mauritshuis collection is small in number, but mighty in scale. Sometimes called the “Mona Lisa of the North,” Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of the museum’s most recognized paintings. A book and movie of the same name helped jump-start its popularity.

Among the masterpieces on display in the intimate space are The Goldfinch by Fabritius, The Bull by Potter and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt.

The Mauritshuis recently underwent a two-year renovation that doubled its exhibition space, adding needed room for art, education and events. An underground foyer connects the Mauritshuis to the new Royal Dutch Shell Wing in a building across the street. Since everything was constructed underground, the building's stunning outside character was preserved.

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