The Hague – Mauritshuis – Royal Collection
The principal responsible to build the Mauritshuis was Count Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen, then Governor General of Dutch Brazil. This city palace between 1633 and 1644 built by Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. Van Campen transferred his part of the work to Pieter Post, as both also worked on the Huygens House near the Mauritshuis at the same time, but all was finished in 1637. The building of the Mauritshuis took so long as John Maurice in 1636 for a period of more than seven years went to Brazil and there was no rush. Another problem was the briidge which was on the site of the current building. This was not to be broken before a new bridge was built with a new gate to the Courtyard, the current Grenadiers Gate. The Mauritshuis should not be confused with the Maurice Tower, located on the west side of the Courtyard, named after governor Maurits van Oranje. The square building was built in Dutch Classicist style and stands on a high pedestal. The facade of the building has a cornice supported by Ionic columns with the known curl in the capital. It swung roof and the use of brick is typically Dutch. Because the stone provided central portion protrudes slightly (called risalit), the building resembles a Roman temple. This style is often used by supporters of Renaissance ideals. Before Johan Maurits in Brazil came back he had sent all tropical timber to the Netherlands for the stairwell. He himself took more kinds of valuables such as skins, Native American weapons, corals, stuffed animals and paintings by Brazilian subjects (slaves, plants, villages). These were hung in the vestibule and staircase. Many Brazilian valuables he donated to other princes. Family portraits were in the large room at the back of the house. In the hall on the first floor he hung portraits of members of other royal families. His bedroom and office were on the first floor left. In his office hung paintings on the courageous fight against the Spaniards. In his bedroom stood a bust of his employer, the Prince of Brandenburg. Shortly after the Mauritshuis in 1644 was completed Johan Maurits moved in 1647 to Germany where he was governor of Cleves. He then just used his Hague city palace during diplomatic visits. As a Hotel Condition: high guests from the States of Holland were housed. In 1660 this was as part of the Dutch Gift a great banquet offered to King Charles II of England. On the ground floor is to recognize something of the splendor of the golden hall. After the death of Maurice in 1679 the Mauritshuis purchased by the Hague mortgagee Maes remains rent to the state. Meeting of the Committee for the Improvement of Rhyme Psalms of the States General in the Mauritshuis in 1773. In 1704 the Mauritshuis was severely damaged by fire. There was a raffle organized by the heirs of Maes to finance the rebuilding. The rebuilding was completed in 1720. The States of Holland rents again. In 1773 there 121 times gathered to arrive at the new metrical psalms of 1773. The Council of the Colonies settled there.
Visiting museum “Mauritshuis”, next to the Prime Minister MARK RUTTE’s office. We started with the permanent collection.
We continued with the Dutch masters and the Royal Collection.
Jan Steen was the son of an Havick Steen, a grain merchant and brewer, and Elisabeth Capiteyn. They were married in 1625 as Catholics for the ships and in all probability only then married in a clandestine church. Jan was the oldest of eight children. Like his even more famous contemporary Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen attended the Latin School in Leiden. In 1646 he enrolled at the University of Leiden, but that probably had more to do with privileges, such as exemption from militiary service and beverage tax, then with serious career plans. He received painting lessons in Utrecht Nicolaus Knüpfer, a German painter of historical and figurative scenes. Influences of Knüpfer can be found in Steen’s use of composition and color. Another source of inspiration was Adriaen van Ostade, a painter of peasant life, who lived in Haarlem. It is not known whether Steen actually pupil of Van Ostade has been. In 1648 Jan Steen was admitted to the painters’ guild of St. Luke founded that year in Leiden and worked with Gabriel Metsu. In 1649 Jan Steen moved in with landscape painter Jan van Goyen in The Hague and married his daughter Margaret. Both painters worked together for five years. In 1654 he became a member of the local militia. Steen moved in all likelihood to Delft, where he ran the tavern De Slange without much success. The local economy went into the doldrums after an explosion in which many homes were destroyed and known as the Delft thunderclap. From 1656/1657 till 1660 he lived in Warmond from 1660 till 1670 in Haarlem, where he experienced his most productive period. Nevertheless, he still paid off debts from Delft in this period. In 1669, his financial situation improved only in the spring his wife died. A year later, his father died and Steen moved back to Leiden, where he would live the rest of his life in the house he inherited from his parents. In 1671 he was elected head of the artists’ guild. In 1672 Jan Steen opened a tavern The Peace. April 22, 1673 he married Maria van Egmont, with whom he had two children. His debts were again high in the period after the art market slackened as a result of the Disaster Year. In 1674 he was re-elected head of the Guild of Saint Luke. In this time the painter was often accompanied by Frans van Mieris, and according to Arnold Houbraken and Jacob Campo Weyerman was then largely spent drinking. Jan Steen died in 1679 and was buried in the family grave in the Pieterskerk in Leiden. His daughter Catherine married the marine painter Jan Porcellis.
CLOSE-UPS FROM FACES AND BODIES, AS WELL AS ABSURD ACTIONS ARE THE TRADE MARKS OF A “HOUSEHOLD” BY JAN STEEN. AS AN EXAMPLE WE TAKE THE RIGHT LOWER SECTION: