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Mauritshuis looks back on a varied and successful year.
Museum expects to close the year with over 410,000 visitors

The Mauritshuis looks back on a varied and successful year with highlights such as the acquisition of the rare flower still life Vase of Flowers in a Stone Niche by Roelant Savery, the first exhibition of contemporary art Vik Muniz: Verso and the visit to the Mauritshuis by the Duchess of Cambridge for the At Home in Holland exhibition. The museum expects to close the year having welcomed over 410,000 visitors, plus 28,000 to the Prince William V Gallery.

‘The Mauritshuis attracted many first-time visitors this year through a varied and innovative programme, and attendance is significantly higher than before to the refurbishment and expansion of the museum’, says Director Emilie Gordenker. ‘This year we also added two new works to the collection and published an important new collection catalogue. In short, it was a busy and productive year for the Mauritshuis.’

Mauritshuis Hertogin Cambridge Catherine

Director Emilie Gordenker and the Duchess of Cambridge at the Mauritshuis. Photo: Ivo Hoekstra

New visitor groups

The Mauritshuis seeks to reach as broad an audience as possible. To that end, the museum launched a new programme with the support of NN Group this year: Maurits& is a sparkling after-work event aimed at young professionals. Every second Thursday night of the month the Mauritshuis appoints a special ‘Thursday Evening Director’. This year prime minister Mark Rutte, television presenter Eva Jinek and wine connoisseur Harold Hamersma were among those given the key to the Mauritshuis for the evening. The museum’s first exhibition of contemporary art Vik Muniz: Verso also attracted new visitors. The end of the year saw the launch of a special project, Unforgettable Mauritshuis, for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This special tour, which is organised every month, is for people with dementia and their caregivers. The Mauritshuis also attracts virtual art lovers with its new Mauritshuis Second Canvas app. This allows users to zoom into key works in the collection, including Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring or The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Brueghel and Rubens, in Gigapixel format.


The collection flower still lifes at the Mauritshuis is world renowned and was enriched this year with two important acquisitions: the rare flower still life by Roelant Savery, Vase of Flowers in a Stone Niche (1615), an acquisition that was made possible thanks to the generosity of the BankGiro Lottery, the Rembrandt Association and a private donor; and Roses in a Glass Vase (1640-1645) by Jacob van Hulsdonck (1582-1647), acquired by the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation and given to the museum on long loan. In October a group of five paintings given to the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation by the late Baron Van Dedem went on view for the first time in a special presentation. The works have been incorporated into the museum’s permanent display and represent a highly significant addition to the Mauritshuis collection. 


Jan Steen (1626-1679) is one of the most popular painters of the Dutch Golden Age. His oeuvre includes some 400 paintings, of which only 10 % have been dated. This makes it a challenge to establish a chronology for his works and to trace his development as a painter. The Mauritshuis, which has one of the most important collections of Jan Steen's work (15 paintings), hopes to gain a better understanding of his technical and artistic development through this research. A presentation about the project is on view in the museum’s permanent collection until 5 February 2017. The Mauritshuis is conducting technical research into Steen’s painting technique in association with Shell, its Partner in Science.


The Mauritshuis has conducted extensive art historical and technical research into its collection of Dutch and Flemish genre paintings in recent years. The ensuing discoveries and insights have been incorporated into the new English-language catalogue, Genre Paintings in the Mauritshuis. This lavishly illustrated book can be considered as a new standard reference work on Dutch and Flemish genre painting.

Prince William V Gallery

The Prince William V Gallery on the Buitenhof in The Hague is a hidden gem in The Hague’s city centre. More than 150 Old Masters from the Mauritshuis collection (including works by Steen, Rubens and Potter) are shown here. The number of visitors to the gallery is expected to reach 28.000 in 2016. This year the gallery showed the painting Ecce Homo by Andrea Mantegna, on loan from the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris.

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