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portrait gallery council of state


portrait gallery council of state 

The Council of State portrait gallery displays a series of busts of the Presidents of the Council of State since the establishment of the kingdom, supplemented with a bust of Prince William of Orange, the Father of the Nation. cepezedinterieur devised the concept for the arrangement and elaborated this further in collaboration with others, including artist Eric Claus, light consultant Mathijs Sommeijer (Deerns engineering bureau) and graphic designer Tessa van der Waals. We also supervised the implementation.

  • client(s)
  • The Coun­cil of Sta­te
  • location
  • den haag
  • user(s)
  • The Coun­cil of Sta­te
  • expertise
  • cepezed interior

portrait gallery as display window  

The series of portraits begins with Prince William of Orange and continues via Kings William I, II and III and Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix through to King Willem-Alexander. The exhibition can be seen in the Council of State's display window along the Parkstraat in The Hague. It is an initiative of the Council of State and the Prince William the First Remembrance Society.

cepezed | léon van woerkom
cepezed | léon van woerkom

modest (uniform) presentation  

The exhibition is entirely focused on a modest presentation with good legibility, which brings out the best in the busts. The foreground and base of the arrangement constitute a neutral unity with regard to colour and atmosphere, and are entirely executed in warm grey. The sculptures are placed on pedestals that form a single entity with an underlying platform that fulfils both a supporting and connecting function. Depending on the specific dimensions of the portraits, the pedestals are higher or lower and are situated closer or further away from the display window. That means that all the portraits are aligned at the height of the spectator, who is then standing as much as possible eye-to-eye with the different sovereigns.

cepezed | léon van woerkom

newly created portraits  

The new portraits of William of Orange and King Willem-Alexander were specially created for the gallery by artist Eric Claus. These busts are arranged so that they are slightly turned towards each other. Together with their similarity in style and execution, this underlines their position as start and end marks in the series, .

cepezed | det van oers

bronze sculptures  

The sculptures of the Kings William I, II and III are new bronzes taken from marble portraits, which Claus has also provided with new cut lines that differ from the originals. The portraits of the sovereigns Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix were already part of the Council of State collection.

cepezed | det van oers
cepezed | léon van woerkom

space as light fitting  

In the lighting plan, two LED lines constitute the general lighting, which gives the exhibition a soft glow and turns the space itself into a fitting, as it were. The spotlights are also LED lamps and are entirely focused on providing beneficial shadows from the various viewpoints. To achieve this effect, many tests were carried out, including tests of the lighting positions and of the colour and temperature of the LED spotlights.

cepezed | léon van woerkom

graphic design  

Also taking clarity and legibility as starting points, graphic designer Tessa van der Waals provided the typographical elements in the gallery. On the back wall, in bronze-coloured letters matching the portraits, the Dutch translation has been placed of an originally Latin quotation from William of Orange’s important Council of State speech about the freedom of conscience and religion, held on 31 December 1564:

‘Yet Orange cannot agree that monarchs should rule over the souls of their subjects and take from them their freedom of belief and religion.’ In the same colour, Van der Waals provided the busts with information about the people portrayed and their periods of reign, the makers of the sculptures and the dates of the artworks.

cepezed | léon van woerkom
cepezed | léon van woerkom

corian pedestals  

The signatures of the various sovereigns have been included on the pedestals, which are made from Corian, and on the display window there is an informative text in white lettering about the exhibition.
You can find more information about the portrait gallery and the sculptures at:

cepezed | léon van woerkom


  • interior design: cepezedinterieur
  • main contractor: Smeulders Interieurwerken
  • building services: e-installatie technische dienst Raad van State
  • text foils: Riwi Collotype
  • artist: Eric Claus
  • lighting: Mathijs Sommeijer (ingenieursbureau Deerns)
  • graphic design: Tessa van der Waals
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