What do the Girl with the Pearl Earring, the Goldfinch and the paintings of Rembrandt have in common? They were all painted in the 17th century in Netherlands and they can all be seen in The Hague, a city that played a vital role in this Golden Age of the Netherlands.
The Golden Age was a century of incredible wealth and prosperity in the Netherlands. As a seafaring nation, the country managed to become extremely rich and powerful through trade and colonialism. The Hague played a vital role in this century, as the government of the country is housed in the city. Architecture and art are the most impressive remainders. Walking through The Hague, it is not hard to imagine yourself in the Golden Age.
The Mauritshuis museum is housed in a beautiful city palace in the historical heart of The Hague and specialises in art from the Dutch Golden Age. Their absolute rockstar is the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, sometimes referred to as the Mona Lisa of the North. But you might have heard about The Goldfinch of Fabritius as well and you will definitely know a painter called Rembrandt. 2019 is the year that museums and cities in the Netherlands commemorate that it is 350 years ago that Rembrandt died. With a good collection of his works, including the well-know Autonomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, the Mauritshuis is the perfect location for such a commemoration. The museum has a great exhibition on Rembrandt and the Mauritshuis until 15 September, also explaining the process of finding out what paintings were actually painted by Rembrandt and which are made by his pupils. Spoiler alert: you will see loads of real Rembrandts. From 7 October, the museum will switch its focus to Nicolaes Maes, one of the most talented students of Rembrandt.
More impressive Golden Age art can be found in the nearby Bredius Museum, a private collection made public. The Hague Historical Museum focusses on telling the story of the city in the Golden Age, when palaces were built and trade was at its peak.
Walking through the historic centre of The Hague, you will encounter beautiful architecture from the Golden Age. Such as Palace Noordeinde, the palace in which the King has his office. For a more morbid history, visit the Prison Gate museum that explains how some leaders from that age came to a horrible end. Feeling hungry and thirsty after a day of exploring? Go for a drink and dinner at De Boterwaag, housed in a former dairy market from the Golden Age.
This article was produced in cooperation with The Hague Marketing Bureau