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The Mauritshuis from the Langevijverberg

Johannes Merken, 1754

Artist: Johannes Merken

Date: 1754

Material: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 50.3 x 67.7 cm

Signed and dated: ‘J. Merken / 1754’ (lower right)

Provenance: Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 11 December 1986, lot 78.

 

Johannes Merken was presumably born in 1725 in Bielefeld in Germany. He moved to The Hague in 1752, where he joined the ‘Pictura’ society. Most of his known works are cityscapes of The Hague and are dated between 1753 and 1755.

This also applies to the present painting, which shows a view of the Hofvijver and the Mauritshuis from the Langevijverberg. The Mauritshuis was build between 1636 and 1644 by Jacob van Campen, for Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen. From 1820 onward the building was used to display a famous art collection, the ‘Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis.’

On the right side of the Mauritshuis we can see the parliament buildings, still used today. The small tower on the corner is used as an office by the prime minister of the Netherlands.

On the left side of the painting the Nieuwe Sebastiaansdoelen are depicted, the building was built in 1636 and used by the Hague militia company. In front of the building we can spot some of the members. Today this building houses the Haags Historisch Museum.

 

Literature

-Jim van de Meer Mohr. “De Haagse schilderijen van Johannes Merken.” Tableau, vol. 10 no. 3. December, 1987.

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