View the Mauritshuis with Your Ears

Willie Wartaal

Bekijk Het Mauritshuis Met Je Oren Willie Wartaal Wijst Naar Jan Steen De Kroon Van De Farao

One painting, one performer, one great song. With View the Mauritshuis with Your Ears, we ask well-known performers to draw inspiration from artworks in our collection. After Spinvis, MEROL and Harrie Jekkers, the fourth musician to write a song for the Mauritshuis is none other than Willie Wartaal.

Listen to the song

Willy Wartaal's Choice

For Willie Wartaal, his first steps in the Mauritshuis were a strange sensation: he was given special permission to stroll through the museum rooms alone during lockdown. Via an earpiece, he was given a socially-distanced guided tour of the museum’s collection. And he liked what he saw: ‘I really like it here, man. It’s like a really crazy treasure chest.’

Although he was fascinated by Ambrosius Bosschaert’s flower still life, seeing all kinds of fashion brands in it, it quickly became clear that he would chose a painting where he could identify with the main character. His final choice was Moses and Pharaoh’s Crown by Jan Steen from 1670.

Bekijk Het Mauritshuis Met Je Oren Willie Wartaal In Het Mauritshuis

The tour

Willie Wartaal (1982), real name Olivier Mitshel Locadia, was born in the village of Poortvliet in Zeeland and grew up in Amsterdam. He also lived in Portugal for three years, but after returning to the Netherlands he joined the hip hop outfit De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig in 2005, for which he became well known. In 2006 he launched his solo career (alongside De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig), releasing hits including Wat wil je doen dan?!?, Dom, Lomp & Famous and Konijntje, often in collaboration with other artists.

On 23 July 2020, Willie Wartaal added the song Mootje to his repertoire, which he wrote especially for View the Mauritshuis with Your Ears.

Bekijk Het Mauritshuis Met Je Oren Willie Wartaal Wijst Naar Jan Steen De Kroon Van De Farao

The story behind the painting Moses and Pharaoh's Crown

Steen only painted a couple of religious scenes, and this is one of them. The story shown in the picture takes place in ancient Egypt. It concerns the young Moses, who the pharaoh’s advisors believe poses a threat to the pharaoh and his crown. The pharaoh appears in the painting as an old man, grumpily slumped on his throne. The advisors set a test for the toddler, asking him to choose between gold, which symbolises the pharaoh’s throne, and a dish of glowing coals. Moses innocently picks up a coal and burns himself, demonstrating to the pharaoh that he poses no threat. On seeing the painting, Willie Wartaal commented: ‘Power is always really fascinating.’

The story behind Mootje

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View the Mauritshuis with Your Ears is made possible by NN Group.

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