The Hague – Mauritshuis
The famous Royal Collection, managed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, contains highlights from the oeuvres of famous painters such as Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu and Jan Steen.
For this exhibition are selected genre paintings by Dutch masters of the Golden Age. Here we see life itself: peasants fighting, flirting ladies and gentlemen, but also loving mothers or an ordinary shopkeeper.
The absolute highlight of the exhibition is Lady at the virginal with a gentleman ( “The Music Lesson”) by Johannes Vermeer. “The Music Lesson” is one of the rare pieces of Johannes Vermeer who have survived a total of 36 paintings. The painting from around 1660-1662 shows a lady and a gentleman in a virginal. Above this musical is a mirror that reflects the foot of Vermeer’s easel. Without doubt the music in this painting symbolizes love, which further emphasized by the Latin motto on the virginal. The painting was acquired in 1762 by King George III, but stood still book as a work of Frans van Mieris the Elder. Only became clear later that it was a work of Vermeer.
Another highlight of the exhibition Woman in a Jan Steen bedroom from 1663. We see a woman who, judging by the marks above her calves, not buying her sock but pulled out, said she looks at the viewer. Here too there is an amorous context. Contemporaries were fond of this kind of performances. That physical pleasure is fleeting, Stone made clear by depicting the skull in the doorway, under a lute with a broken string.
The Royal Collection and Mauritshuis
The exhibition Dutch house: Vermeer and contemporaries from the British Royal Collection is the result of a collaboration between the Royal Collection and the Mauritshuis. Under the title Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer was shown earlier this exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, London, and The Queen’s Gallery at The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.