The Mauritshuis has launched timed ticket sales online for the exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection. The museum is offering timed tickets for the first time since the reopening in 2014. Director Emilie Gordenker: ‘We expect that the exhibition will be very popular. We want to offer our visitors the opportunity to reserve a ticket at a specific time, so that they can enter the exhibition without having to wait.’ Visitors will have direct access to the exhibition at a specific time every day from 3 pm onwards by purchasing a time slot (at € 2.50) in combination with a ticket. The exhibition will be open to all visitors without a timed ticket at any time during the day.

A royal visit from Great Britain: the Mauritshuis in The Hague will exhibit a selection of the most important Dutch genre paintings from the British Royal Collection. The renowned Royal Collection, held in trust by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, includes highlights by famous painters such as Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriël Metsu and Jan Steen. The highlight of the exhibition is ‘The Music Lesson’ by Johannes Vermeer.The exhibition At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection 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.

The British Royal Collection is one of the largest and most important collections in the world and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. The Royal Collection and the Mauritshuis have much in common: both are royal collections and both contain a magnificent collection of Dutch masters of the Golden Age. King George IV of England was a key figure in the history of the Royal Collection. In the early decades of the nineteenth century he acquired many of the paintings which are now seen as jewels in the crown of the English royal collection. The foundations for the Mauritshuis collection were laid by the stadholders William IV and William V. Their descendant, King William I, bequeathed the collection to the Dutch state in 1816 and the museum still bears the name Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery.

Renée Veldman

Johannes Vermeer, ‘The Music Lesson’, ca 1660-1662, Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.