5 April until 3 July 2022

Constantijn Huygens. Scents and Images

Location Huygens' Hofwijck

In 2022, we will celebrate the completion of the online database containing the extensive correspondence of Constantijn Huygens. To add lustre to this occasion, the Voorburg museums Huygens’ Hofwijck and Huygens’ Swaensteyn are organising two exhibitions in collaboration with Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and NL-Lab of the KNAW Humanities Cluster. From 5 April onwards ‘Constantijn Huygens. Scents and Images’ and in the autumn the extensive presentation ‘Constantijn Huygens. A Life in Letters’.


Constantijn Huygens. Fragrances and Images’ is devoted to new perspectives and firsts concerning Constantijn Huygens. In cooperation with De Jonge Academie, for instance, the exhibition will highlight Constantijn’s hitherto almost unknown qualities as a perfumer. One of the scents he designed was reconstructed on the basis of a recipe written by himself. In cooperation with the cosmetics company HUYGENS PARIS and the Swiss producer Givaudan, visitors will be able to smell the fragrance for themselves or buy a scented candle. The scent of the Golden Age.

Gerrit Rietveld Academie

Under the title Rietveld – Huygens Exchange. What has Huygens ever done for us? ten students from the Jewellery – Linking Bodies department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie will be examining the dark side of the era in which Huygens lived.  The ten art projects will be exhibited in Huygens’ Hofwijck, both during this exhibition and the spring exhibition in the autumn.

During ‘Scents and Images’, an extensive peripheral programme of lectures, workshops and concerts will be offered. The richly illustrated book Constantijn Huygens. Een leven in brieven with an anthology of letters from Constantijn’s life will be available from 2 April at the better bookshops.