Mauritshuis

A house full of stories

Zaal 12

From Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring to Rembrandt’s Two African Men and Fabritius’ The Goldfinch – no other building in the Netherlands has so many impressive paintings per square metre as the Mauritshuis.

Our world-famous collection of 17th-century masterpieces is displayed in two unique buildings: in the former home of Count Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen, built in 1641, and at the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague’s best kept secret.

The home of Rembrandt and Vermeer

The Mauritshuis is the home of the finest paintings from the time of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Our galleries are full of some of the best work by 16th- and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish masters.

  • It takes some 90 minutes to meet all our masters: Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Judith Leyster, Jan Steen, Peter Paul Rubens, Rachel Ruysch, Frans Hals, Carel Fabritius and many others.
  • The most famous painting at the Mauritshuis is without a doubt Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. His View of Delft and Diana and Her Nymphs are on display in the same room.
  • We have 11 Rembrandts, one of the world’s largest collections of work by the great master. The best known are The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp and his final Self-Portrait
  • The oldest painting at the Mauritshuis is Rogier van der Weyden’s The Lamentation of Christ from 1460 - 1464. The most recent painting – Ger Lataster’s Icarus Atlanticus of 1987 – is on the ceiling of the stairwell.
Vermeers Girl With A Pearl Earring With Visitors Museum Mauritshuis The Hague 1200

Highlights of the Mauritshuis

From Rembrandt’s Two African Men to the delicious Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels by Clara Peeters, every painting at the Mauritshuis is extraordinary in its own way. But if we really have to choose, these are our highlights:

Palatial home in the heart of The Hague

It’s not only the paintings that make a visit to the Mauritshuis so special. Our building is an attraction in itself. A real palace at the heart of the city, with creaking wooden floors, silk wall coverings and chandeliers hanging from the ceilings.

Like most of our paintings, the Mauritshuis also dates from the 17th century. It was originally built as the home of Count Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen. Hence the name: Maurits’ house.

Museum Mauritshuis Aan De Hofvijver In Den Haag Byjoniisraeli 1200

Colonial history

If we are talking about the 17th century, the Netherlands’ colonial history is a key part of that era. Take for example trading companies like the Dutch East India Company and the West India Company, which were involved in international trade, wars, colonisation and slavery. The Mauritshuis and many of the paintings on display here have a link with this colonial history.

It all starts with the man who had the Mauritshuis built. Johan Maurits ran the colony of ‘Dutch Brazil’ from 1636-1644. You can learn about this part of our history when you visit the Mauritshuis.

Hanneman Maria Stuart Met Bediende Mh0429 Mauritshuis
Adriaen Hanneman, Posthumous Portrait of Mary I Stuart (1631- 1660) with a Servant, c. 1664

For the whole family

We have been voted by children one of the most fun museums in the Netherlands, and we are extremely proud of the fact. At the Mauritshuis you will find world-famous paintings that are fun, exciting, beautiful and cool to children and to adults.

Besides looking at all the art, wandering around our ‘city palace’ is an adventure in itself. The sparkling chandeliers and colourful painted ceilings make you feel like you are in another world. And everyone under the age of 19 gets to visit for free!

Kinderen Aan Het Schilderen In Kunstwerkplaats In Het Mauritshuis 1200

Discover hidden stories

A visit to the Mauritshuis is a very special experience, not only because of the 250 or more paintings that give a glimpse of life in the 17th century, but above all because of the stories behind these masterpieces. You can discover all these stories in our free Mauritshuis app. Hear all about the mystery of the soldier who disappeared from a painting by Pieter de Hooch, or the hidden details in Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. Discover why 17th-century men wore tights and blue was considered a ‘girl’s colour’. And who was the Girl with a Pearl Earring exactly? You can follow your own route round the museum, or book a guided tour. One things is certain: it will always be a feast for your eyes.

Bezoekers Met Mauritshuis App 2 1200

Exhibitions

Our most famous paintings, like Vermeer’s View of Delft, Paulus Potter’s The Bull and the Girl with a Pearl Earring are always on display. In addition, we organise three new exhibitions a year, exploring interesting subjects like 17th-century smells, or the turbulent history of Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen.

Rembrandt Twee Zwarte Mannen Met Bezoekers Mauritshuis 1200

Always online

Our paintings may be hundreds of years old, but they are still relevant today, touching upon subjects that still concern us now: love, inequality, power, beauty. Our online stories explore the best tales behind the collection, with input from experts at the Mauritshuis and elsewhere. Choose a subject and prepare to be amazed. 

Our online museum is always open, so if you fancy it you can wander around the Mauritshuis at night. We are the first museum in the world to have digitised our collection in gigapixel format (over a hundred times bigger than the images you take with your smartphone). This allows you to zoom in to our paintings so closely that you can even see the brushstrokes: an entirely new way of looking at art.

Our Rembrandt Reality app uses augmented reality to allow you to look over Dr Tulp’s shoulder in The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. And we have joined forces with museums all over the world to develop the Vermeer museum, where you can see all of Vermeer’s paintings in one place.

Museumles Scholieren Verkleed Als Schilderij Maken Selfie Mauritshuis 1200