We invite you to join us for a very special insideTauck presentation – a fascinating “virtual” walk through the Mauritshuis with a museum docent who guides you through the collection, providing behind-the-scenes information, stories and insights. The museum is celebrating its bicentennial this year with special exhibitions and events – and we’re pleased to introduce this special insideTauck so you are part of it.
On select Rhine river cruises, guests enjoy an exclusive event – a private evening in Den Haag, Netherlands, at Mauritshuis – an extraordinary museum that resides in a 17th-century mansion housing iconic masterpieces of the Dutch Golden Age. The collection features works by Rembrandt, Holbein the Younger and Vermeer – including his iconic Girl With A Pearl Earring.
For additional information, or to learn more about the Mauritshuis, the collections and Girl With A Pearl Earring, we’ve curated some videos and documentaries that you can view below.
Drs. Wendy Fossen
Drs. Wendy Fossen BA MA is a freelance art historian and working as a museum guide for the Mauritshuis as well as the Kunstmuseum, both located in The Hague. As a tour manager for a Dutch travel agency she takes groups on cultural and art related trip across Europe, as a docent she teaches art history to adults and as a speaker she gives lectures on a wide variety of art historical subjects throughout The Netherlands.
Q & A
Q. The wall coverings throughout the museum are gorgeous, are they silk?
A: Yes, they are indeed silk.
Q. The ‘View of Delft’ is so beautiful, and I understood that it was a national treasure that never left the country. Can you talk about its place in the permanent collection?
A: Being one of the three Vermeers in our collection it is an artwork we treasure. Nonetheless, all three of them have been on loan to foreign museums several times and when they are home they are always on display in our museum.
Q. Did Vermeer use mirrors to create the realism of his paintings as Teller hypothesizes?
A: There are differing opinions as to whether Vermeer used optical devices (mirror, camera obscura, or some other device) to create his compositions. Through technical examinations of Vermeer paintings happening in preparation for the 2023 exhibition, we hope to shed more light on this. Recent research on Girl With a Pearl Earring found no concrete evidence to suggest that he used such devices during painting; however, he might have been inspired by looking through a camera obscura prior to painting, which could explain the heightened contrast between light and dark overall, and slight ‘blurriness’ of certain details.
Q. What do all the cracks in the Girl With a Pearl Earring tell us?
A: Girl With a Pearl Earring has developed cracks over time due to natural ageing and embrittlement of the paint, previous conservation treatment that used heat and/or moisture, as well as external forces (physical damage). If you’d like to find out more, you can read this post.
Q. If the Girl With a Pearl Earring is not a portrait, what is it?
A: The Girl With the Pearl Earring is a tronie, an architype. She represents an exotic girl wearing a turban and that pearl in her ear.