Mauritshuis re-opens (ctd.)

July 22 2014

Image of Mauritshuis re-opens (ctd.)

Picture: AP

There's a good article by Laura Gascoigne in The Spectator about the history of the newly re-opened Mauritshuis, and how much of its collection is made up of works originally in the British Royal Collection. About 30 paintings were taken over to Holland by William III, who:

[...] sneakily transferred 30 paintings from Hampton Court to his new hunting lodge at Het Loo, including Holbein’s ‘Portrait of Robert Cheseman’ and Gerrit Dou’s ‘Young Mother’. Queen Anne later sued for the Dou’s return and lost, but Willem III got his posthumous comeuppance when the widow of his short-lived appointed heir, Johan Willem Friso, auctioned off 60 paintings from the royal collection, including masterpieces by Rubens and Van Dyck.

Willem IV tried to repair the damage by buying back Rembrandt’s ‘Simeon’s Song of Praise’ and acquiring the Mauritshuis’s biggest painting, Paulus Potter’s ‘The Bull’, and Willem V carried on the good work by spending 50,000 guilders on a major collection of 40 old masters including Rembrandt’s ‘Susanna and the Elders’ — only to have his gallery later denuded by the French, who swept off its treasures, ‘The Bull’ included, to the Louvre.

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