The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, April 21, 2018

'Girl with Pearl Earring' goes home to revamped Mauritshuis museum in The Hague
A visitor takes a picture of the "Girl with a Pearl" artwork by painter Johannes Vermeer during a press preview at the renovated Mauritshuis museum in the Hague, the Netherlands, on June 20, 2014. The museum will officially re-open to the public on June 27 after two years of renovations. AFP PHOTO / ANP / LEX VAN LIESHOUT.

By: Charles Onians

THE HAGUE (AFP).- The Dutch Mauritshuis museum, historic home of Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring" and a treasure trove of other Golden Age masterpieces, reopens next week after two years of renovations.

The elegant 17th-century classicist mansion in The Hague has undergone a 30-million-euro ($40-million) revamp and more than doubled its floor space thanks to an art deco extension accessed through a light-filled underground atrium.

"It's wonderful to see the collection back home where it really looks at its best," museum director Emilie Gordenker told AFP at a press preview on Friday.

During the renovation, which began in 2012, many of the museum's best-known pieces, including "Girl with the Pearl Earring", have been touring the world, drawing millions from New York to Tokyo.

Mona Lisa of the north
"'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' has become an icon, she's become the 'Mona Lisa' of the north, and she does belong here," Gordenker said.

"There's something very special about the painting which maybe in a way is a bit like the Mauritshuis: we're small, we're intimate," she said of the museum tha-t is also known as "the jewel box".

A show at the Frick in New York drew record crowds to see the painting, which inspired a 2003 film starring Scarlett Johannson, but also Carel Fabritius' "The Goldfinch", the title of US author Donna Tartt's Pulitzer prize-winning 2013 novel.

Given its new-found fame, "The Goldfinch" has been moved to another room in the renovated Mauritshuis.

"We decided to put it in a place where it has a little bit more room, we're expecting a large number of visitors to come specifically for this painting," Gordenker said.

The museum's collection is small, around 800 paintings with just 250 on display, but of very high quality, including Rembrandt's "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp" and the Golden Age's best-known landscape, Vermeer's "View of Delft".

The original building dates from the height of the Dutch Golden Age, which roughly spanned the 17th century, when the Dutch dominated much of world trade and, as a result, art.

Spectacular new-found bourgeois wealth meant that millions of paintings were commissioned, often portraits or landscapes, rather than the romanticised biblical imagery that had dominated the Italian Renaissance.

Too many visitors
"The museum used to be this city palace... but being a museum every year it got more visitors and they didn't fit in the building any more," architect Hans van Heeswijk told AFP.

Whereas previously visitors went in through the service entrance, they now walk through the mansion's main gates and down a modern spiral staircase past the adjacent Dutch parliament and prime minister's office into the minimalist 21st-century atrium.

"We felt it important that we wouldn't create some architecture that's related to the Mauritshuis from the 17th century because the other building is an art deco building from 1930," Van Heeswijk said.

"So we have three buildings that have a different architectural style but they have the same quality."

Visitors walk through the atrium -- "Don't call it a tunnel!" warned Gordenker -- to the new wing, acquired on long-term lease from neighbouring gentleman's club De Witte, one of The Hague's oldest social institutions.

The new wing houses a library and education centre and is also used for temporary exhibitions.

The museum has launched a quirky marketing campaign that sees people from around the world who have a reproduction of "The Girl", as she's known in the museum, hanging in their home invited to the museum where a reproduction of their room is rebuilt around the original.

The Mauritshuis renovation comes after three of Amsterdam's main museums reopened after completing their own restoration works: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum and the Stedelijk Museum.

King Willem-Alexander will officially reopen the museum on June 27, with entrance free that evening.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

June 21, 2014

'Girl with Pearl Earring' goes home to revamped Mauritshuis museum in The Hague

Dutch antiques dealer Michiel van Eyck charged for selling copy of Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'

Hopper's Nighthawks tops the list for Art Everywhere US: Largest outdoor art show ever

'Rossetti's Obsession: Images of Jane Morris' opens at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Major exhibition about the sky in Dutch art since 1850 opens at De Hallen Haarlem

Small is Beautiful: Christie's announces first online sale of small scale sculpture

'Warhol On Vinyl: The Record Covers, 1949-1987+' opens at Cranbrook Art Museum

David Zwirner announces that Kerry James Marshall has joined the London gallery

Business and deputy director Ulrike Erbslöh to leave Eindhoven's Van Abbemuseum

More than 140 historic French masterworks on view at The Oklahoma City Museum of Art

The best new homes in the UK competing for the RIBA Manser Medal: Longlist revealed

Fifth international "Summer of Photography" biennial focuses on gender relations

In honour of Canaletto English artist Edward Cooke signed his Venetian views 'Il Lagunetto'

Diamond solitaire ring leads $4.8 million Fine Jewelry Auction at Bonhams New York

Georgia Museum of Art to show Hitchcock-inspired video art

Exhibition at Hirschl & Adler explores the evolution of Americaa's culture and landscape

Entirely new body of work by Lydia Gifford on view at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Columbus Museum of Art presents acclaimed and Susan Horseman Collection

Art Antiques London wins praise and delivers sales in Kensington Gardens

Revolutionary exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum showcases making fashion truly accessible

Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful