A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Many people might know yesterday as the Shopping Night because if you have been out on the street yesterday, you would have seen the posters and people wearing white in some places. For this year, the theme of Shopping Night is “Girl with the Pearl Earring” in celebration of the reopening of Mauritshuis on the same day.
I caught up with the event somehow, and when I heard that Mauritshuis will be free for entrance from 8 pm until midnight, I made up my mind to make my shopping night into a gallery night. Before this, I had no idea that the famous “Girl with the Pearl Earring” is one of the collections in Mauritshuis, which is only 30-minute walk away from me.
I arrived at Mauritshuis at 10:20. There was a long queue on a long red carpet. Later I knew that the king and the queen had come here earlier that afternoon to open the gallery. After about 40 minutes of waiting, I entered the gallery from one storey down.
The gallery is not very big, but it boasts some famous Vermeer, Rembrandt and Rubens paintings. Most of the paintings there are from the Dutch Golden Age. The collection rooms are symmetrical and numbered so you cannot get lost or miss anything. After seeing the collection rooms, I went to the Royal Dutch Shell wing. There I saw an exhibition about the history of Mauritshuis and how it had been restored over the last two years.
It has always a dream of mine to visit a gallery or museum at night (it’s a shame that they close so early in the afternoon), and Mauritshuis is definitely a wonderful place to realize this dream.