The Mauritshuis contains more than eight hundred Dutch and Flemish paintings made between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. Of particular renown is its concentration of pictures created during the seventeenth century in the Northern and Southern Netherlands (modern-day Netherlands and Belgium). Many of these derive from the collection of Prince William V of Orange-Nassau (1748–1806), whose magnificent legacy was presented to the Dutch nation in 1816 by his son, King William I (1772–1843).
In addition to the artists represented in the exhibition, the Mauritshuis holdings include major works by Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Holbein the Younger, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony van Dyck, among others.
Located in The Hague, the Mauritshuis was originally the home of Johan Maurits (1604–1679), Count of Nassau-Siegen, who served as governor of the Dutch colony in Brazil. The city palace designed for him by Jacob van Campen (1596–1657) and constructed between 1633 and 1644 is a wonderful example of Dutch classical architecture. Located next to a complex of government buildings (some of them centuries old) known as the Binnenhof, the museum is in the center of The Hague on the picturesque Hofvijver (Court Pond).