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Counting Down to a Rembrandt Year in 2019 - An Innovative and High-Profile 2018 for the Mauritshuis

The Mauritshuis in The Hague had an innovative and high-profile year, with projects including the recently-launched Meet Vermeer. The museum expects to receive 442,000 visitors to the Mauritshuis and to Prince William V Gallery combined. This month the countdown began to Rembrandt & The Dutch Golden Age 2019, a national commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death.

Visitor Numbers

The Mauritshuis received more international visitors in 2018. Of the 412,000 people expected at the Mauritshuis, 140,000 came from abroad. The top five countries for international visits were Japan, the United States, Germany, Great Britain and France. The museum also saw a notable increase in the number of Chinese visitors, up 20% from 2017. Those from the Netherlands continue to visit the museum primarily for temporary exhibitions, which this year have included Jan Steen’s Histories and National Trust – Dutch Masters from British Country Houses (which runs until 6 January 2019).

Prince William V Gallery

In 2018 visitors to the Mauritshuis were also able to use their entrance ticket to visit the Prince William V Gallery on the Buitenhof for the first time. Some 150 old masters from the Mauritshuis collection are displayed in the Gallery, including works by Steen, Rubens and Potter. The Prince William V Gallery expects to end 2018 having welcomed 30,000 visitors.

Innovative and High-Profile 2018

At the initiative of the Mauritshuis, Google Arts & Culture and 17 cultural partners launched the world’s first virtual Vermeer museum on the platform Meet Vermeer in early December. The highlight is the Pocket Gallery: an exhibition of all 36 of the Dutch old master’s works in the Google Arts & Culture app that uses augmented reality. The Mauritshuis also organised two projects that allowed visitors to witness live in the museum activities that usually take place behind closed doors: the first phase of the scientific examination of Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665) and the restoration of the oldest painting in the collection The Lamentation of Christ (c.1460-1464) by Rogier van der Weyden.

Looking Ahead: Rembrandt, Johan Maurits and Nicolaes Maes

The Mauritshuis will kick off Rembrandt & The Dutch Golden Age 2019 on 31 January. For the first time in its history, the museum will display all eighteen paintings in its collection that are, or once were, attributed to Rembrandt. The exhibition shows the changing perception of Rembrandt over the centuries. Of the eighteen paintings, eleven are still considered to be authentic works by Rembrandt, two have question marks surrounding their attribution and five are no longer considered to be by the master.

From 4 April 2019, the museum will offer an exhibition about shifting perceptions and images of the man who built the Mauritshuis, Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679). The Mauritshuis had been planning to devote a show to this subject for some time. At the beginning of this year, a public debate broke out that attracted considerable media attention about the handling of Dutch colonial legacy in relation to the Mauritshuis. This followed the removal of a copy of a bust of Johan Maurits from the museum foyer. In the upcoming exhibition, this replica bust will be displayed alongside works of art from the museum’s collection.

At the end of the Rembrandt year, the Mauritshuis will present the first large-scale, international exhibition devoted to the work of one of Rembrandt’s most versatile pupils: Nicolaes Maes.

Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis
31 January - 15 September 2019

Shifting Image
In search of Johan Maurits

4 April - 7 July 2019

Hello Rembrandt!
(Rembrandt for the whole family)

20 July – 15 September 2019

Nicolaes Maes (working title)
17 October 2019 - 19 January 2020

Please contact us for more information:

Elske Schreurs, Mauritshuis  
+31 (0)70 302 3438 / +31 (0)6 27033093 /

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