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Paintings Donated by Baron Van Dedem on view in Mauritshuis in September

The five seventeenth century masterpieces donated to the Friends of Mauritshuis Foundation by Willem Baron van Dedem in 2002 are now on display in the Mauritshuis in The Hague. The paintings are: Still Life of Tazza by Pieter Claesz, Still Life of Fruit and Wine Glasses on a Silver Plate by Willem Kalf, Brazilian Landscape with a House under Construction by Frans Post, Winter Landscape at Arnhem by Salomon van Ruysdael and Peasants Dancing outside a Bohemian Inn by Roelant Savery. They are on view until 31 October 2016, in a special presentation in honour of Baron van Dedem, after which they will integrated into the permanent collection of the museum.

Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis: “This donation is one of the most significant ever made to the Mauritshuis. Every one of the five paintings is a masterpiece and an excellent addition to the museum’s collection.”

Pieter Claesz Stilleven met tazza Mauritshuis

Pieter Claesz, Still Life with Tazza, 1636

Fourteen years ago, on 9 September 2002, Willem Baron van Dedem very generously donated five seventeenth century paintings to the Friends of the Mauritshuis Foundation. Key to this donation were Van Dedem’s fondness for the Mauritshuis and his good relations with Frits Duparc, director at that time. Duparc was given the privilege of selecting several paintings, provided he could explain their importance to the further development of the museum's collection. After the selection was made, they agreed that van Dedem would be able to keep the paintings until his death. At that time, Van Dedem said of the donation, "It is extremely satisfying to know that the paintings will hang here in the future, where everyone can see them." Van Dedem received two royal distinctions following the donation: the museum medal and Officer's Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

The Van Dedem Collection

Van Dedem's paintings constitute the most important private collection of Dutch and Flemish Old Masters to be assembled in England, where van Dedem lived. Over the course of more than fifty years, he gathered an unparalleled collection of paintings, the majority of which are landscapes. Museum directors and conservators have always found Willem and Ronny van Dedem open to requests for exhibitions and many museums, the Mauritshuis included, have benefited from van Dedem's generosity as a lender.

Willem Baron van Dedem

On 26 November 2015 Willem Baron van Dedem died at the age of 86. He was a prolific figure in the arts world, and not just as a collector. He was chairman of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Rembrandt Association. He was a member of the Johan Maurits Compagnie Foundation and actively involved in the Dutch Masters Foundation. In June 2014 he donated a forest scene by Meindert Hobbema to the Rijksmuseum.

Special Presentation

In 2002, a small exhibition marked the donation. The five masterpieces found temporary accommodation in room 8 of the Mauritshuis, which was rechristened the Willem van Dedem Room for the occasion. The pieces will be on show to the public once again, until 31 October 2016, in room 13 of the Mauritshuis, but this time under the watchful eye of Duparc, whose bronze bust (by Ronny van Dedem) is included in the exhibition.

Note for the editorial team:

Images of the new acquisition can be downloaded from our website, please mention the attached credit lines. 

For more information please contact:

Natalie Bos
+31 (0)70 302 3438
+31 (0)6 1444 84 60 /


The Mauritshuis is home to the Best of Dutch painting from the Golden Age. The compact, yet world-renowned collection, is situated in the heart of The Hague in The Netherlands, right next to the government centre. Masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display in the intimate rooms of this seventeenth-century monument.

More than two hundred top works from Dutch and Flemish masters are on display in the historic yet intimate interior, with its silken wall covering, sparkling chandeliers and monumental painted ceilings. Genre paintings by Jan Steen, landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, still lifes by Adriaen Coorte and portraits by Rubens offer a rich and varied representation of the best of seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painting.

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