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The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has lent one of its great treasures—Johannes Vermeer's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (c. 1663)—to the National Gallery of Art in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the landmark Johannes Vermeer exhibition, which opened here in November 1995 before traveling to the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, The Hague, in March 1996.

This luminous masterpiece, recently restored at the Rijksmuseum, will be displayed through December 1, 2016, in the Dutch and Flemish Cabinet Galleries. It will hang with Vermeer paintings from the Gallery's own collection, including Woman Holding a Balance (c. 1664) and Girl with a Red Hat (c. 1665/1666)—the latter newly returned after being featured in Small Treasures, an exhibition shown in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Birmingham, Alabama—as well as Girl with a Flute (1665–1675), attributed to Vermeer.

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"Saul and David"—a painting once thought to be one of Rembrandt’s greatest pictures until it was dismissed in 1969 as a work by a follower—has been reattributed to the Dutch master following a lengthy investigation. The Hague’s Mauritshuis revealed the news today in the run-up to the opening of an exhibition detailing the painting’s extensive technical investigation and recent restoration. The CSI-style show is due to open on June 11 and run until September 13.

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Look carefully at Ingres’s painting of the Comtesse d’Haussonville and you realize that her right arm does not make any sense, it is coming right out of her rib cage. “It was deliberate,” said Emilie Gordenker, who was blown away by the painting as a college student in Connecticut. “He wanted to create this incredibly sinuous line that works perfectly … she makes this beautiful S-shape.”

This week the Comtesse is the poster girl for an unprecedented exhibition at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, where Gordenker is director.

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Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:35

Masterpieces from the Frick Head to the Mauritshuis

Over 30 masterpieces from the celebrated Frick Collection will be seen outside New York for the first time as part of a special exhibition at the Mauritshuis in The Hague in 2015.

"The Frick Collection – Art Treasures from New York" will be the first major exhibition to be displayed in the new wing of the Mauritshuis following the opening exhibition of the museum in 2014. The exhibition will give visitors to the Mauritshuis a fascinating insight into the history of The Frick Collection and its founder, wealthy American steel magnate Henry Clay Frick (1849—1919). The works selected for the exhibition are masterpieces from the 13th to 19th centuries, which include not only paintings, but also drawings, sculpture and decorative arts, reflecting the outstanding quality and diversity of The Frick Collection. They perfectly complement the Mauritshuis’s own collection which focuses on Dutch art of the Golden Age.

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These days, exhibitions of the American artist Mark Rothko's work are huge crowd-pullers, and his paintings fetch record sums at auction. Now the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is presenting a new exhibition of Rothko’s work, forty years after the last such show in the Netherlands. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy the artist’s work, as the exhibition is only being held in The Hague - and nowhere else.

With works constructed layer upon shimmering layer; Rothko's color fields are of unparalleled intensity and communicate universal human emotions such as fear, ecstasy, grief and euphoria. The artist was an intensely committed painter who invested his whole being in his art and, like many other great artists, he led a difficult life. Rothko was deeply disillusioned by the two world wars, and plagued by depression, yet capable of producing great art with an enduring capacity to comfort and enthral.

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Friday, 05 September 2014 12:21

Contemporary Artist Danh Vo Sued by Major Collector

Major art collector and polarizing figure Bert Kreuk has sued Danish-Vietnamese artist and Hugo Boss Prize winner Danh Vo for €898,000 (approximately $1.2 million), according to a report in the Netherland’s RTL Nieuws. Kreuk claims that Vo failed to deliver an artwork for an exhibition of Kreuk’s collection, titled "Transforming the Known," at the Hague’s Gemeentemuseum (Hague Municipal Museum), which closed in September of last year.

That artwork in question reportedly cost Kreuk $350,000.

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After a triumphant tour of Japan, then the United States and ending in Italy, the "Girl with a Pearl Earring" has returned home to the Mauritshuis royal picture gallery in The Hague. For ever. The museum, which reopened last month after two years' renovation work, will no longer allow Vermeer's masterpiece out. Officially the Mona Lisa of the North has been gated in order to please visitors to the Mauritshuis who only want to see that painting. Its fame has steadily increased since Tracy Chevalier published her novel in 1999 followed in 2004 by the film by Peter Webber starring Scarlett Johansson. Anyone wanting to see the portrait will have make the trip to the Dutch city.

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" thus joins the select band of art treasures that never see the outside world. Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" never leaves the Uffizi in Florence; "Las Meninas" by Velázquez stays put at the Prado in Madrid; Picasso's "Guernica" remains just down the road at the Reina Sofia museum; and his "Demoiselles d'Avignon" can only be seen at MoMA in New York.

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Since it opened to the public in 1822, the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis has been one of those quiet gems, set in a 17th-century classical townhouse in the center of this patrician city and frequented by lovers of Dutch Golden Age painting. But when it closed for a renovation and expansion two years ago, and a selection from its collection went on tour, Mauritshuis gained an instant celebrity it had never had before.

Wherever the paintings went, millions of people followed, enduring long lines to see two works in particular: Vermeer’s doe-eyed “Girl With a Pearl Earring” (circa 1665), which has become one of the most famous paintings in Western art, and Carel Fabritius’s “The Goldfinch” (1654), a mere slip of a work — about 13 inches by 9 inches — but a giant hit because of Donna Tartt’s best seller of the same title. Also in that show was a sampling of works by Rembrandt and Rubens, Hals and Steen, but they were just the icing on top.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013 17:55

Holland’s Royal Picture Gallery to Reopen in June

Holland’s Mauritshuis, one of the world’s most celebrated small museums, will reopen to public on June 27, 2014 following a major renovation. Located in The Hague, the Mauritshuis is home to some of the country’s most treasured paintings including Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and Jan Steen’s ‘As the Old Sing, So Pipe the Young.’

The Mauritshuis’ 17th century building has been renovated and upgraded to better suit its 21st century visitors. The Royal Dutch Shell Wing has been added to the museum’s historic building and will provide new exhibition galleries, an education center, a cafe, and other state-of-the-art visitor facilities.

Built between 1636 and 1644 for Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, the Mauritshuis was purchased by the Dutch state in 1820 for the purpose of housing the Royal Collection of Paintings. The institution opened as a public museum in 1822.

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Johannes Vermeer’s (1632-1675) iconic and entrancing Girl with a Pearl Earring is currently on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta as part of the exhibition Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis. The show, which includes works by other Dutch Golden Age masters such as Rembrandt (1606-1669), Frans Hals (1580-1666) and Jan Steen (1629-1679), marks the first time the painting has been on view in the Southeastern United States. The exhibition’s 35 works are on loan from The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of only about three-dozen paintings attributed to Vermeer. The last time the painting visited the U.S. was during a retrospective of the artist’s work at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. in 1996. Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis debuted at the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco earlier this year and later traveled to the Frick Collection in New York. The High Museum has allotted Vermeer’s masterpiece its own gallery.

Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis will be on view at the High Museum of Art through September 29, 2013.

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