Is the Mauritshuis the world’s best museum of art? Stuffed with well-known masterpieces, it’s small enough not to tire you out, while offering a thrill in almost every room.
Too many museums can be a chore to visit but the Mauritshuis in The Hague is among the exceptions. It starts with a Goldilocks combination of being just the right size – not too big, not too small – and with the right number of visitors. It never seems crowded but still has a quiet buzz.
It also has just the right number of paintings: neither many, nor too few. Even better is that its paintings include so many greatest hits of the Dutch Golden Age. The most notable is Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring and the crowd of visitors taking selfies with it show I am not the only one to have been drawn here by its fame. But there’s plenty more. That’s Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Nicolaes Tulp, here's Laughing Boy by Frans Hals, and those massive balls belong to Paulus Potter's The Young Bull, a naturalist sensation when it first went on show in 1647.
Sitting quietly against a back wall is The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius. Like Girl with a Pearl Earring, it gained real fame by becoming a book cover for Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. While the Mauritshuis was recently closed for refurbishment, some of the its treasures toured the world and The Goldfinch drew record crowds in America.
Perhaps they could tour next with their recipe for a great museum?
Stay in the best hotel of The Hague and arguably of the Netherlands!