DUTCH STREET ART – Raamstraat, Den Haag.

Raamstraat is a shortcut for most people.

We really came to The Hague (‘Den Haag’ to the Dutch) to see the Vermeers, but there was an unexpected bonus.

Johannes Vermeer – Girl with the Pearl Earring. Image: Wikipedia.


According to my calculations, Girl with a Pearl Earring is the second most famous painting in the world*.

She normally hangs opposite Vermeer’s View of Delft in the Mauritshuis, but while the old place is being renovated, she’s moved to temporary digs in Den Haag’s wonderful Gemeentemuseum (‘City Museum’) and will shortly be going on an overseas trip to Japan and America.

We admired her, marvelled at the fact that she once sold for 2.30 guilders, and went out into the streets of Den Haag.

The Hague is a no-nonsense sort of city, the seat of the Dutch government (though they don’t really have a government at the moment. The coalition has collapsed and we’re waiting on elections in September to see what will happen next.)

In any event, Den Haag is smart, clean, modern and not the sort of place to tolerate graffiti…except in the Raamstraat, a short laneway leading off a major shopping street, the Grote Marktstraat.

I didn’t know bars were a particular feature of Den Haag, but yes, it has them.

It certainly has trams. The Number 17 took us to the Gemeentemuseum.

I’m guessing Den Haag has a Japanese garden somewhere.

The Gemeentemuseum has a wonderful collection of Piet Mondrian’s work.

…and perhaps someone can help me by telling me the significance of this lighthouse. It looks different from the lighthouse I know in nearby Scheveningen.

I don’t know what this means either, but I know what I like.

It costs EUR16.50 to visit the Gemeentemuseum, though we’ve bought museum cards (good value at EUR40 per year) which get us into most museums in the country for no extra charge. But we’re all for art being taken to the streets and to the people. It may not be Vermeer quality, but it does liven the place up.


If anybody knows the identity of any of the street artists responsible for these works, let me know and I’ll add their credits to the pictures.

Raamstraat (A) is a short walk from Den Haag Centraal Station. Click on the map for a clearer version.

*I’m putting Mona Lisa at number one. Can anyone suggest rivals for number two?

16 Comments

Filed under Art, Holland

16 responses to “DUTCH STREET ART – Raamstraat, Den Haag.

  1. Great picture and a surprisingly good film!

  2. Hans

    What about The Lady with the Veil by Alexander Roslin

    • Lovely painting, Hans, but I think not as famous as our Pearl Girl. Maybe it needs a film with Scarlett Johansson to boost its profile.

      I thought maybe Edvard Munch’s The Scream was a possible rival. Or Whistler’s Mother.

  3. No. 2 – What about Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or the Scream by Edvard Munch? According to Wiki the current record price was paid for The Card Players by Paul Cézanne, which was sold for more than $250 million in 2011! The list of possibilities is endless but I wouldn’t disagree with you!

    • I thought of those Sunflowers, Andrew, but the trouble there is that it’s not a single painting. Van Gogh painted lots of sunflowers and cheapened the currency.

      I think there are also at least two versions of The Card Players.

      Even Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters has variations and sketches too.

      Interesting discussion. Any votes for Botticelli’s Birth of Venus or Picasso’s Guernica?

      • My personal favorites are Renoir’s Boating Party and Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergère, The Dance Class by Degas and maybe A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. I know what you mean about the Sunflowers – he did overdo it a bit!

  4. Knuckles

    For a work of art,what is fame ?
    Popularity or “seen by the most people” (they are not the same) or most reproduced or price paid the last time it changed hands or what ?,

    • Quite agree, Knuckles. I have some masterpieces created in my garret which the world has yet to recognise. Just need to get them hung in some major public gallery and I’ll be laughing.

      It’s encouraging that nobody wanted Vermeer’s work until the 19th century and his genius was only really recognised in the 20th.

      I suppose my criterion for this challenge was: ‘What are the paintings that the most people in the world would recognise?’

  5. What about Starry Starry Nigh? Or is that the song title? Ot Guernica?

    • Good suggestions, Libby, I thought of Starry Night – we were looking at it in Chicago a few weeks ago. And yes, Guernica’s an option too. I was trying also to think of popular, though not necessarily great works – Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can or Marilyn (though there are a lot of them) or a Dali melting watch, or Magritte’s apple-headed man.

      Short of a world-wide poll (a PhD project for someone?) we’ll never know which are the most recognisable to non-art experts.

  6. Antonina Fieni

    What about Da Vinci’s Last Supper? Surely everyone recognises it?

  7. looking at Tram nr 10, I’d do a search on Google with ‘Het Verflab’ :)

  8. graag gedaan, Richard, een erg leuke post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s