Put the following exhibitions in your diary:
Detail from Frans Hals’s painting, Portrait of Aletta Olycan, 1625, during restoration.
When Art becomes Science
2 July - 25 October 2020 - A lot of people aren’t aware that the Mauritshuis houses its very own in-house conservation studio in the building’s attic. To maintain the quality of the collection, our team of conservators come together here every day to work on conservation, restoration and materiological research. In 2020, it will be exactly 25 years ago that we moved the studio into our attic. A fine occasion to highlight some of the most intriguing restorations from the past two decades, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, Steen and Rubens as well as less familiar names like Cornelis de Heem and Jacob Ochtervelt. The restoration of centuries-old paintings definitely appeals to the imagination. What sort of things do you need to take into account? What can we learn from a restoration? What do the paintings look like ‘before’ and ‘after’? And what have been some of the most astounding discoveries?
Jan Brueghel the Younger, Allegory of the Sense of Smell, c.1630. Private collection
The sense of smell and the imagination in the seventeenth century
26 November 2020 – 5 April 2021 - An exhibition about scents and smells in the seventeenth century. Fragrant flowers and perfumes, fetid canals and noisome body odours, smells and health, new aromas from distant shores (spices, tobacco, coffee and tea), the lost smells of bleaching fields, traditional crafts and more. Could life in the seventeenth century be captured in scents? How were scents (and the sense of smell) actually portrayed? Which meaning did people attach to the sense of smell? And do works of art have specific aromatic connotations? In this exhibition, the Mauritshuis will be studying the past from an olfactory perspective. We will be cooking up a variety of historical aromas that relate to the art and breathe new life into the exhibited paintings.
Jacobus Vrel, Woman at a Window, Waving at a Girl, c. 1650. Paris, Fondation Custodia. Frits Lugt Collectie
20 May - 9 August 2021 - Up to now, the artist Jacobus Vrel has remained something of a mystery. We know next to nothing about this painter – not even where he lived or worked. Vrel painted some 50 works between 1650 and 1670, most of them depicting scenes from daily life in and around the house. His somewhat naïve style, his atmospheric use of light and his sometimes curious use of perspective lend his paintings a charm all their own. For the first time, 25 of Vrel’s finest paintings have been brought together, offering unique insight in the work of this master, who is often compared to Johannes Vermeer. The works on loan come from various Dutch and international collections.
Jacob van Ruisdael, View of Haarlem with Bleaching Fields, c. 1670 - 1675
The Dutch landscape
30 September 2021 – 9 January 2022 - The year 2021 will be a special theme year, under the banner Ode to the Landscape . Throughout the year, many museums and cultural institutions will be paying extra attention to our countryside and nature areas. The Mauritshuis has an important collection of Dutch landscapes from the seventeenth century, with works by artists such as Jacob van Ruisdael, Meindert Hobbema, Jan van Goyen and Frans Post. This presentation shows them from a variety of new and often surprising perspectives. For example, the exhibition will go into questions like ‘What can these paintings tell us about people’s ideas about the landscape at the time?’ and ‘How have painters influenced our current image of the Netherlands?
Jan Davidsz de Heem, Vase of flowers, c. 1670
Spring of 2022 – The Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery will be celebrating its second centenary as a museum in 2022. And the year’s calendar also features another edition of the world-famous Floriade exhibition and garden festival. All the more reason for the Mauritshuis to fill its halls with flowers for the occasion. The special exhibition Flowers shows some of the very finest floral still lifes of the seventeenth century.