No one will tell you to visit Museum Bredius in The Hague. Instead they may tell you to visit the Mauritshuis instead. And that’s a real shame. Why? Because Museum Bredius is certainly a museum that deserves as much attention. Here’s why…
The first thing you’ll notice is that Museum Bredius is an 18th century mansion located at one of the most scenic parts of The Hague at the Hofvijver in Voorhout (and close to other museums including the Mauritshuis, The Haags Historisch Museum, The Gevangenpoort Museum etc.).
Abraham Bredius, whom the museum was named after, was an art collector who left his paintings to the municipality of The Hague at his death in 1946. A museum dedicated to his collection was later established and was once situated in his former house on the Prinsegracht. It later moved to Lange Vijverberg 14 where it exists today.
There is much magic to be discovered inside the mansion. And if you have an appreciation for old buildings, you’ll absolutely love Museum Bredius. In particular, I adore the red, regal staircase, giving one the feeling of a time long gone.
Moreover, the rooms are preserved almost as though they were never touched.
And of course the paintings are also what make the visit so worthwhile. Take a look at this very real, albeit small Rembrandt (‘The Bust of Christ’) which is one of the highlights of the collection. This work was painted in the 1600s. There are a couple of other Rembrandt’s on display, but ‘The Bust of Christ’ is by far my favourite. In it, Christ’s expression appears so pure and there is something so calming and innocent about his eyes.
In contrast to the more sullen colours of ‘The Bust of Christ’ there are some vibrant works such as Jan van Os’ painting below. The fruit in van Os’ painting appears so tangible, moist and sweet that one feels almost obliged to reach out and sample it.
This fascinating, somewhat interactive artwork below is by another Golden Age painter, Pieter Janssens Elinga (born in Belgium but resided in the Netherlands). This particular work is called the ‘Perspective Box’ and in it we are presented with an optical illusion. Apparently there are only 6 such boxes that are still in tact today including this one at Museum Bredius. Makes for interesting viewing indeed.
Museum Bredius set in this very charming 18th century house overlooking the Hofvijver captures the hearts of all who enter. It is a quaint museum; one that houses impressive works of Dutch painters and should definitely not be overlooked.