Museums and attractions
One of the most iconic paintings in the world, hangs in the Mauritshuis: The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Delft painter Johannes Vermeer. He painted it in the period 1665-1667. The painting is not a portrait but a so-called tronie: a fantasy head. Tronies depict a particular type or character, in this case a girl in exotic attire, wearing an oriental turban and an improbably large pearl in her ear. Who the girl was is a mystery to this day.
Master of light
Vermeer was the master of light. Here, this can be seen in the softness in the girl's face, the glints on her moist lips. And to the gleaming pearl.
Despite, or perhaps because of her mysteriousness, the girl is the most famous girl in the world. And an inspiration to many artists, from films to music. The girl even has her own Spotify list!
There is much more beauty from the Golden Age to admire at the Mauritshuis. Be sure to see Rembrandt's impressive Anatomy Lesson, Paulus Potter's enormous Bull and be enchanted by Fabritius' touching Goldfinch. Donna Tart wrote a book about this extraordinary little bird.
Once you've said goodbye to the girl, there's more special things to see around the Mauritshuis.
You may already know that Piet Mondrian's Victory Boogiewoogie hangs at Kunstmusuem Den Haag. But did you also know that this museum has the largest Mondrian collection in the world? The Victory Boogie Woogie is the highlight of the collection and also Mondrian's last work. It was still unfinished when he died. If you look closely, and you can in the Art Museum because it is not always so busy, you can still see the bits of tape. Mondrian still changed the painting from time to time.
The painting depicts all kinds of opposing concepts - which coincide with the New York metropolis: chaos and order, large and small, light and dark, fast and slow, static and dynamic.
Marvel at much more modern art by Picasso, Theo van Doesburg, Bart van der Leck, Charley Toorop, Claude Monet and Francis Bacon, among others. Edith by Egon Schiele, the favourite painting of (former) director Benno Tempel, also hangs here.
The Art Museum is also famous for the impressive fashion exhibitions that regularly take place here. In addition, the museum pays a lot of attention to arts and crafts in its beautiful period rooms. For children, the Wonder Rooms are a treat. And how about the amazing building itself designed by Berlage? In itself a work of art!
And don't forget to have a drink in the museum's inner garden. If only for Theo Jansen's beach animal that lives there permanently.
In 1880, Hendrik Willem Mesdag received the commission of a lifetime: to create a 360-degree painting of his beloved Scheveningen. A vista of the sea, the dunes and the old fishing village of Scheveningen. Mesdag painted the panorama from the Seinpostduin, then the highest dune in Scheveningen.
Largest painting in the Netherlands
The Panorama of Scheveningen is the largest painting in the Netherlands: it is 14.6 metres high and 114.5 metres across. Mesdag could not complete this big job alone. With help from his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten, George Hendrik Breitner, Théophile de Bock and Bernard Blommers - all important painters at the time, the Panorama was painted in four months.
Not only is the Panorama very large, it is also one of the best-preserved panoramas because it is on permanent display and not constantly rolled up.
Have a look at the changing temporary exhibitions. These range from very modern to works by Mesdag's contemporaries. Be surprised!
And, exit through the giftshop! In the museum shop you will find not only souvenirs of the Panorama but also an extensive collection of the nicest museum gifts. As gifts or to keep for yourself.