Exploring Mauritshuis and Rounding off the Mini Trilogy of The Hague
24.07.2016 20 °C
This entry will be about the arts, specifically paintings collection from the Dutch Golden Age. The Mauritshuis (Maurice's House) in the Hague has a good collection ranging from Vermeer, Rembrandt, Paulus Potter, Hals and some others. This museum was previously the residence of John Maurice of Nassau, it retained a stately feel to it and that was felt during my visit to this museum.
This is the main entrance
One of the entrance into Binnenhof is just right beside the building
Here's some shots of the viewing areas (the paintings are arranged elegantly in different rooms)
Great paintings adorned the staircase, makes it pleasant as one walk up the stairs.
Even looking up is a delight
Here are some paintings that caught my attention.
This is the Garden of Eden with the Fall of Men painted by Rubens and Brueghel. It is interesting to see how two different personalities can combine their talents and make it seems like it is a one man's job. Rubens painted Adam and Eve, the tree, the horse and the serpent. Brueghel did the rest. My untrained eye couldn't really tell the difference until I read about the painting.
Another one by Rubens, this is the old woman and boy with candles. The lighting and shadow effect is so well done here and the picture almost look natural.
This painting is The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp, by Rembrandt. His talent at painting lifelike portraits with good attention to details (the tendons and how each students are all looking at different things as they were being taught by Dr Nicolaes). Even in this age of standardized testing/ education. I believe that students will somehow retain their own unique thought patterns and will see the things that excites them more.
Another Rembrandt's masterpiece, Saul and David. You can practically feel the gripping story behind the painting as David plays the harp in front of the man who wants his life.
I appreciate paintings like this one, Hendrick Avercamp's Ice Scene. He shows a very nice picture for people like us living centuries later on how people go about in a particular weather. On the left, you will see that a group of people have fallen through the ice, but help is already on the way. This shows a community that is ready to jump out and help in contrast with our generally apathetic crowd in this age. You will also see that woman has fallen over in front of the bridge, revealing her bare bottom. Perhaps undergarments are not actively worn in that era. People are generally just having fun on the ice, skating, sledging and playing ice hockey. I wonder, will I see the community come out and play in a nice winter weather or will most just choose to sit in front of the box like usual.
This is Delft in the 1600s, painted by Vermeer and is the most famous cityscape of the Dutch Golden Age. He took some artistic liberty to make the buildings a bit neater than they actually were.
Finally, this is the Dutch version of the Mona Lisa, albeit unlike Mona Lisa it is not actual a portrait of a real person but rather an imaginary one. This painting is Girl with a Pearl Earring and it is Vermeer's masterpiece. To me, this girl is more appealing than Mona Lisa because the latter was just sitting back in the painting, contained whereas this mysterious girl has a sense of silent seduction and yet welcoming with her direct gaze and oriental turban. Perhaps she was Vermeer's muse of the ideal beauty of his age.
A few more nice paintings to round off the blog
After walking around the museum, I think a going to a chocolate shop is the best place to regain one's energy (I am biased because I have a sweet tooth) This is hop en stork, it is an outstanding chocolate and coffee shop, you won't go wrong with any choices. As a bonus, you get to see your chocolates get made too.
If you crave for Chinese food, the HanTing restaurant on Prinsestraat is a good choice.
This entry officially ends The Hague's trilogy. Next time, this blog will cover a different city.