The Hague.- The Mauritshuis is proud to present “Dalí Meets Vermeer: Modern Masters Come to Visit” on view at the museum from September 15th through December 11th. The Mauritshuis, which is renowned for its magnificent collection of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, presents modern and old masters together this autumn. Masterpieces by artists such as Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Salvador Dalí will be exhibited alongside highlights from the museum’s own collection. “Dalí Meets Vermeer: Modern Masters Come to Visit” couples old and modern paintings in refreshing combinations, and displays one pair in each room of the museum. The confrontations will invite comparison and closer examination, revealing how painters of different eras grappled with the same artistic problems.
The Mauritshuis owns a world-famous collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings from the seventeenth century, including masterpieces by Dutch artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen and Hals, Flemish painters such as Rubens and Brueghel, and the German artist Holbein. This autumn, a number of these seventeenth-century masters will be joined by a selection of international modern artists. All of these loans come from Dutch museum collections and were created during the period 1860-1960. For example, Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” will be installed next to Dalí’s “Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages” (from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), paintings that reveal surprisingly similar silhouette and colouring effects. Rogier van der Weyden and Francis Bacon both give their own interpretation of the Passion of Christ. For Rembrandt and Charley Toorop, the self-portrait represented a key artistic challenge, while Jan Both and Paul Cézanne both captured Mediterranean light beautifully in their landscapes. Juan Gris and Jan Davidsz de Heem show remarkable similarities in the compostions of their still-lifes, if not the styles, while Peter Paul Rubens and Max Beckman both use unusual light effects in their portraits. Eleven pairs of paintings will be displayed throughout the museum, occupying one wall in every room. Mauritshuis Director Emilie Gordenker explains: “The interplay and combined effect of the artworks offers an opportunity to look at 17th-century painting in a fresh way. The exhibition will also demonstrate the richness of Dutch art collections, and has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of modern art museums throughout the Netherlands.”
The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis (English: “Maurice House”) is an art museum in The Hague, the Netherlands. Previously the residence of count John Maurice of Nassau, it now has a large art collection, including paintings by Dutch painters such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter and Frans Hals and works of the German painter Hans Holbein the Younger. In 1631, army officer John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679), who was a cousin of stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, bought a plot bordering the Binnenhof and the adjacent pond named Hofvijver (English: “Court’s Pond”) in the The Hague, Holland, Dutch Republic. At that time, The Hague was the political center of the Dutch Republic and the States-General assembled in the Binnenhof. The Mauritshuis was named after Prince John Maurice and was built between 1636 and 1641, the period when he was the governor of Dutch Brazil. The Dutch Classicist building was designed by the Dutch architects Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. The two-storey building is strictly symmetrical contained four apartments and a great hall. Each apartment was designed with an antechamber, a chamber, a cabinet, and a cloakroom. Originally, the building had a cupola, which was destroyed in a fire in 1704. After the death of Prince John Maurice in 1679, the house was owned by the Maes family, who leased the house to the Dutch government. In 1704, most of the interior of the Mauritshuis was destroyed by fire. The building was restored between 1708 and 1718. In 1820, the Mauritshuis was bought by the Dutch state for the purpose of housing the Royal Cabinet of Paintings.
In 1822, the Mauritshuis was opened for the public and housed the Royal Cabinet of Paintings and the Royal Cabinet of Rarities. In 1875, the entire museum was available for paintings. The Mauritshuis was a state museum until it was privatised in 1995. The foundation set up at that time took charge of both the building and the collection, which it was given on long-term loan. This building, which is the property of the state, is rented by the museum. The museum collaborates regularly with museums in other countries. In 2007, the museum had almost 250,000 visitors. The collection of paintings of stadtholder William V, Prince of Orange was handed over to the Dutch state by his son king William I. This collection formed the basis of the Royal Cabinet of Paintings of around 200 paintings. The collection is currently called the Royal Picture Gallery. The current collection consists of almost 800 paintings and focusses on Dutch and Flemish artists, such as Pieter Brueghel, Paulus Potter, Pieter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacob van Ruisdael, Johannes Vermeer, and Rogier van der Weyden. There are also works of Hans Holbein in the collection in the Mauritshuis. Visit the museum’s website at … www.mauritshuis.nl