From May 27 to June 21, the Archeology department of the municipality of The Hague organizes the exhibition Archaeological finds from the Golden Age in The Hague, where paintings from the Golden Age and Archaeological finds can be seen. Except Thursday, May 30 Ascension Day and Monday, June 10 Second Whitsun Day.
Utensils are depicted on various genre pieces and still lifes from the Golden Age. Precious showpieces of precious metal or gilt glass that were meant to express the wealth of the owner. These objects were handled with care. If they were not damaged, they were passed on to the next generation, or sold. We find these objects in museums and in private collections and sometimes, but often in damaged form in the soil.
But the paintings also contain objects for everyday use, from pottery, wood, leather and glass. Objects that were used every day and thereby worn, broke and were thrown away. Broken articles made from sustainable materials such as pewter plates and jugs could be melted down and we therefore rarely find them. Tin spoons, on the other hand, were often lost in canals.
It is no surprise that the items made from less durable materials were thrown away. The Archaeologists from The Hague find a part of this in their research. Just like the remains of the meals, the pits of fruit, fish vertebrae, mussel and oyster shells, and large animal bones (meat was sold with bone). With this exhibition, the Archeology department offers a view of the past based on the work of artists from the Golden Age and archaeological finds.
By the Golden Age we mean the 17th century (1600-1700). A period of prosperity, long-distance trade, but also of war. The war against the Spaniards did not end until 1648 and then the disaster year 1672 followed. The Hague had been a prosperous place since the end of the 16th century. Although it was not a trade center, it did not have an important port or industry, it had been the administrative center of Holland since 1578. The Hague became the residence of the Oranges when Maurits van Nassau succeeded his father Willem van Oranje as governor of the regions of Holland and Zeeland. He moved to The Hague where he permanently moved to the Binnenhof. Many wealthy capitalists followed in his footsteps.
An important part of the employment for artisans and service personnel came from the elite of the Binnenhof and surroundings. Even more painters per inhabitant worked in The Hague than in Amsterdam. Famous painters such as Jan Steen, Jan van Goyen, Jan Lievens and Paulus Potter, but also less well-known artists such as Adriaen van der Venne, Adriaen Hanneman and Abraham van Beijeren lived and worked in The Hague for a while.