Mauritshuis / Maurits House

German born Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen (1604 – 1679) was called "the Brazilian" for his fruitful period as governor of Dutch Brazil. Maurits loved Brazil, was interested in nature and culture and was known for his humane leadership and tolerance towards religion. He was a calvinist, but catholics and jews were welcome too.

He worked for WIC and a lot of money was made with sugar and slaves. In the 17th century Amsterdam owned 30 sugar factories that used rough sugar from 140 sugar plantations in Brazil, where African slaves worked. To get enough slaves Maurtits sailed with 9 ships and 1200 troops to the African Gold Coast and conquered Portugese slave station Elmina. Later he also took slave station Luanda in Angola. He was very cruel to slaves and the slave ships were called 'floating coffins'.

 

Maurits built his residence in The Hague city center, it was also called the Sugar House by locals.

Today the Mauritshuis is home to Dutch painting from the Golden Age, a compact, yet world-renowned collection. Masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display.