Mauritshuis Mural opposite Moerwijk station

GLEO Mauritshuis Mural Moerwijk Willem Dreespark

Colombian artist GLEO is crazy about flowers, and she photographs them wherever she goes. She has a favourite in every country she’s been too. So it’s no surprise that she chose a floral still life – Vase of Flowers in a Window by Ambrosius Bosschaert – as the inspiration for her mural.

Flowers from different countries and seasons now adorn a wall measuring no less than 700m2 on Troelstrakade (Willem Dreespark) in Moerwijk – one of the biggest murals in the Netherlands!


GLEO is from Cali, a big city in Colombia. She started street art at the age of 17 to brighten up her own neighbourhood. Painting helps her to be free and dispel the daily chaos, she says. You can now find her colourful artworks with flowers and portraits on walls in cities like São Paulo, Rabat and Brussels. Her Mauritshuis Mural is her first large mural in the Netherlands. There is also a canvas by GLEO at STRAAT MUSEUM Amsterdam.

Street Artist Gleo Aan Het Werk Mauritshuis Mural
Artist GLEO at work

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder

Vase of Flowers in a Window is one of the highlights of the Mauritshuis collection. Bosschaert included no fewer than thirty different species of flowers in this vibrant bouquet. In preparation for this work, he spent a year studying the flowers individually, and was thus able to assemble a bouquet of flowers that do not actually all bloom at the same time. The painting thus presents a collection of the most beautiful flowers Bosschaert knew, including the tulip, which was still rare in Holland at that time.

GLEO chose this work by a master she had long admired. She prepared in a similar way. For years she had been collecting flowers she particularly liked in every country she visited, photographing them and studying them closely. She made a selection of her favourites for her mural, Flower Woman in the Window. The flowers in her exuberant bouquet also bloom at different times, and originate in different countries.

Ambrosius Bosschaert De Oude Vaas Met Bloemen In Een Venster MH679 Mauritshuis
Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder Vase of Flowers in a Window (1618)


You need a platform secured to the building to paint a wall this high. The platform might seem pretty stable, but if the wind gets up, it swings back and forth. So you need a steady had and good ‘sea legs’ to keep the lines straight.

Imagine working from top to bottom on a small platform, with only limited room for your paints. GLEO regularly had to lower the platform to the ground to mix new shades and fetch new supplies of paints. That made this a time-consuming job, yet she still managed to finish it in 21 working days, despite the bad weather in September!

GLEO works on the details of her Mauritshuis Mural

Different phases

The residents of the apartment block kept a close eye on all the different stages of the process. First, GLEO made a 'doodle grid' with yellow lines. A 'doodle grid' is a way of working in perspective on a large scale which uses a combination of symbols to mark certain points for the artist, without the need to set out a grid. GLEO then transferred her sketch to the wall in a striking purple colour. Then, to everyone’s surprise, an even layer of transparent yellow paint was applied over the entire wall, including the detailed sketch. Would this ever come right?

That was when the ‘real’ work began. GLEO reapplied the sketch, and everyone saw different areas of colour emerging. Large areas of colour applied with rollers, and details meticulously painted using smaller brushes.

Mauritshuis Mural In Moerwijk De Maak Door Kunstenaar GLEO
GLEO working on the sketch

Dutch pansies

GLEO also included her favourite flowers from the Netherlands: purple pansies.

She admitted to us that she had never painted pansies before, and she found it particularly challenging to find the right combination of colours.

The other purple flowers in this detail of her mural are from Colombia and they are found only in the mountains near Cali.

GLEO, Detail Of Flower Woman In A Window, Mauritshuis Murals, 2022
GLEO, detail of Flower Woman in the Window, 2022, Willem Dreespark, The Hague

The Moerwijk neighbourhood

In a famous Dutch song about The Hague, Harry Jekkers sings about Moerwijk, the neighbourhood he grew up in. “I’d like to live in Moerwijk, as I did before.” Willem Dudok planned the neighbourhood, which was built just before and after the Second World War.

It might not look like the nicest place to live, with its tall apartment blocks, cheap lower-rise flats and a number of large thoroughfares passing right through it, bringing lots of traffic – cyclists, cars, trams and trains. But if you really look around you, you will see a diverse community, lots of green, and a surprising number of artworks – more than 800, to be exact! Many of them on the façades of 1950s buildings.

Lots of rail passengers from Rotterdam know this neighbourhood only because their train stops at Moerwijk station. Now, these lucky travellers can enjoy the murals by GLEO and Studio Giftig every day.

Hop on your bike, it's time for a tour of The Hague!


The Hague Street Art
The Mauritshuis Murals project is a collaboration between the Mauristhuis and The Hague Street Art (THSA), part of Stichting AIGHT. THSA is Stichting Aight’s platform providing support for everything to do with Street Art in The Hague and the surrounding area. THSA facilitates art in public spaces, professionalising and showcasing young artists in order to prevent vandalism.

Housing association Staedion owns one in every seven homes in The Hague, renting out over 37,000 homes and 6500 other premises such as shops, commercial offices and car parks in the Haaglanden region. Staedion offers affordable housing for people in a vulnerable position on the housing market, with a focus on quality and safety. Our focus is safe, good-quality housing. We work with our residents and our partners in the community to provide a pleasant living environment for all, and were happy to make wall space available for Mauritshuis Murals – including on the housing complex on Vrederustlaan – as part of ‘Art in the Community’.


Mauritshuis Murals is sponsored by The Hague City Council, Nationale-Nederlanden and Stichting Droom en Daad.

The Hague City Council is sponsoring the Mauritshuis Murals project, in which artists from the Netherlands and abroad have been invited to enrich several neighbourhoods in The Hague with their murals. As a supporter of emerging talent, The Hague City Council is particularly interested in this aspect of Mauritshuis Murals. 

Nationale-Nederlanden (NN) is the partner and main sponsor of the Mauritshuis, and is also sponsoring the Mauritshuis Murals project. As a supporter of all artistic explorers, NN is keen to get a wider audience interested in art and culture. It also gives artists an opportunity and a platform to inspire others, as a supporter of talent.

Logo S Murals Staedion