THE HAGUE. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Mauritshuis yesterday, 11 October. The visit coincides with the exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his contemporaries from the British Royal Collection, which includes 22 important genre paintings from her family’s collection, announced mauritshuis.nl.
Emilie Gordenker, Director: ‘We are delighted that her Royal Highness paid a visit to the Mauritshuis. It was a very special experience to show her the renowned permanent collection as well as the exhibition.’
The Duchess of Cambridge was received by Emilie Gordenker, who gave her a tour of highlights in the Mauritshuis, which included the ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (1665) by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675),‘The Goldfinch’ (1654) by Carel Fabritius, and The Bull by Paulus Potter. The Duchess, who took a degree in art history at the University of St Andrews, is familiar with the collection. She also visited the Art Workshop in the Mauritshuis, where children were engaged in a painting lesson. The programme ended with a visit to the exhibition At Home in Holland.
The exhibition (until 8 January 2017) contains works by masters such as Gerard ter Borch (1617-1681), Gerrit Dou (1613-1675), Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684), Gabriël Metsu (1629-1667) and Jan Steen (1626-1679), which are regarded as some of the most important Dutch genre paintings in the British Royal Collection. The highlight of the exhibition is ‘The Music Lesson’ (1660-1662) by Johannes Vermeer.
The exhibition introduces the public to the ‘genre painting’, its many forms and the provocative symbolism it often conceals. These works are stunning in their variety, from simple farmhands gathered in an inn to elegant figures in rich interiors. Some of the everyday scenes carry a deeper, often moralistic meaning, which may be explicit or at times concealed. But in all of them, the artists portrayed the characters and their environments as skilfully as possible, which makes them even more attractive.