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Royal acquisitions

King William I (1772-1843) took a great interest in the Mauritshuis in the first decade after its opening in 1822. He saw to it that the collection of the Royal Cabinet of Paintings was expanded to include several more masterpieces.

In 1822 William I decided that Vermeer’s View of Delft should be hung in the Mauritshuis, even though the painting had been bought at the behest of the director of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Something similar happened again in 1828, when the king had Rembrandt’s Anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp bought for ‘his’ cabinet. In the same way, the View of Haarlem with bleaching fields by Jacob van Ruisdael ended up in The Hague, while The lamentation of Christ by Rogier van der Weyden was bought for the Mauritshuis by William I himself.

Vermeer, Gezicht op Delft Rembrandt, Anatomische les
Johannes Vermeer, View
of Delft

Rembrandt, The anatomy
lesson

The Belgian Revolt in 1830 was a serious drain on the king’s resources, and after 1832 he acquired nothing more for the museum.

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