2005 will be a year of many cultural events, Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer and more... Today, as "the largest village of Europe", The Hagues offers an extensive collection of paintings by the old and modern masters, housed in six museums. Together, these collections constitute five centuries of the art of painting. with works such as View on Delft by Johannes Vermeer or Victory Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondriaan. Since the end of 2002, the town also houses three brand-new museums: the Escher Museum, the Museum of Photography - Fotomuseum - and the GEM - Museum of Contemporary Art.
Vincent van Gogh at the Gemeentemuseum
Each year, the Gemeentemuseum organises exhibitions on famous artists or movements like Modriaan, Monet, the Prerafaelites or the Expressionists. This year one of its sections displays the work of The Hague School, and the Treasure Rooms contain highlights from the various museum collections, paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky, Toorop, Willink and Appel, and the fantastic dollhouse from 1743. From February 5 to May 16, the museum presents an exhibition on The Hague School and the young van Gogh. Vincent is often associated with sunflowers and France, but in fact his artistic roots lay in The Hague and the painters of the Hague School. This was a group of artists who were inspired by the French Barbizon School to invent a Dutch form of Impressionism and who were also innovative in terms of their realism and interest in the hard lives of labourers and fisher folk. It was in this artistic environment that the young Van Gogh developed his own brand of realism and laid the foundations for his later masterpiece, The Potato Eaters, painted during his period in Brabant.
Illustration: Van Gogh The Potato eaters
Johannes Vermeer's Art of Painting in the Mauritshuis
The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis is housed in one of Holland's most outstanding classicist buildings. Its location next to the Binnenhof on the Hofvijver pond, its intimate character and the exceptional quality of its collection make it a favourite destination for many visitors. The Museum is mostly celebrated for its world famous collection of Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century. Paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, Potter, Ruisdael and numerous other masters from the Golden Age form the core of the collection, which also features paintings from the Flemish 16th and 17th century, and works by Rubens, Van Dijck, Jordaens. Very exceptionally, one of the most celebrated paintings by Vermeer, The Art of Painting, c.1666-8, from the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, will be on loan for three months. Vermeer’s careful rendering of the details and different surface textures as well as the subtle gradations of light are testimonies to his supreme accomplishments as a painter.
Illustration: Johannes Vermeer. The Art of Painting
A visit to Delft
A great combination with The Hague is the historic town Delft, about 10 minutes away. Wonderful canalside streets with houses that date back many centuries, courtyards, narrow lanes, many arched bridges and a market with a magnificent town hall. Today Delft is a lively but intimate town that has fully retained its photogenic character. It has a wealth of cultural attractions within walking distances, among which is a Blue Pottery with an ambience similar to that in the paintings of Vermeer.
Illustration: House in Delft
The Hague and its two seaside resorts, Scheveningen and Kijkduin, are perfect for any length of stay. The Hague Tourist Office offers package deals for as low as € 35,00 per person per night in the hotel of one's choice, entitling visitors to various advantages and discount vouchers. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can call The Hague Tourist Office at: +31 70 338 58 15