The Mauritshuis takes you behind the scenes of our restoration studio

Science Weekend

3D Meisje Met De Parel Onderzoek Abbie Looking Through Microscope

There you are: face to face with a painting by Rembrandt. The portrait is unframed, close enough to touch – literally right in front of you. But is it a real Rembrandt? As a conservator, you rely on some of the most advanced equipment around to get to the bottom of questions like this. So would you dare restore a painting like that? This job can get pretty exciting!
On Saturday, 2 October, we’ll be organising two livestreams that show you what kinds of things conservators face when they’re restoring a centuries-old work of art. Be sure to read on!

The mysterious world of art conservation

The Mauritshuis’s conservation studio is located inside our museum. Every day, our conservators are hard at work researching and restoring 17th-century paintings from our collection. Of course they don’t just work on Rembrandt portraits. For example, right now the team is also taking a closer look at various fascinating flower still-lifes and landscape paintings.
Walking through the Mauritshuis, enjoying the paintings on its walls, most people have no idea what goes on behind the doors of its conservation studio. Usually, our conservators’ activities are hidden from public view. But on 7 October, we’ll be opening ‘Facelifts & Make-overs’: a new exhibition that offers a unique glimpse into the mysterious world of art conservation.


In addition, we will be offering two livestreams on 2 October, in celebration of ‘Weekend van de Wetenschap’ (‘Science Weekend’): one in Dutch and one in English. During these livestreams, Mauritshuis conservators Carol Pottasch and Abbie Vandivere will show you around the conservation studio. And you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime to ask them everything you’ve ever wanted to know about their work. The livestreams will take you on a virtual tour of the studio and explain which materials and equipment conservators use – and why. On top of that, you get to see several paintings that the team are working on right now.
So if you’ve always wanted to ask a conservator questions like: ‘What do you do exactly?’, ‘What kind of decisions do you have to make in your work?’ and ‘What’s the coolest thing you´ve found during a treatment?’ – this is your chance!

Practical information

  • Date: 2 October
  • Time: The Dutch-language livestream by Carol Pottasch starts at 2 p.m. CET, the English-language livestream by Abbie Vandivere starts at 3:30 p.m. CET
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Cost: Free (you do need to book in order for you to receive the link to the live stream via e-mail).

After registration you will receive an email with a unique link to the Livestream. You can copy and paste this link in your browser. 5 minutes before the start you can go to the online environment of the live stream.

Restauratoren Carol, Abbie En Sabrina In Het Restauratieatelier Van Het Mauritshuis