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Exotic furnishings

In Johan Maurits’s day the palace contained many recollections of his stay in Brazil. The entrance hall featured frescos depicting Brazilian landscapes, and the large hall on the upper floor contained the extensive collection of artefacts and naturalia from Brazil.

This collection consisted of everything the Dutch found strange and exotic in the New World: Indian headdresses, weapons, baskets, musical instruments, stuffed animals, hides, bags of colourful feathers, shells and corals, as well as precious metals and stones. Johan Maurits also owned dozens of paintings he had commissioned from Albert Eckhout and Frans Post: depictions of the Brazilian landscape and of the country’s flora, fauna and various ethnic groups.

This exotic collection did not stay in the Mauritshuis for long - Johan Maurits gave much of it away as diplomatic gifts. In 1654, for example, he gave part of the collection, including the paintings by Eckhout, to the king of Denmark, and in 1679 he presented Louis XIV of France with (among other things) the paintings by Frans Post.

 
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