The almost hidden history of philosophers and artists that used to live at the Studio Simoncini location 

The Toussaintkade with on the right the entrance of Studio Simoncini

Artist and philosopher Frans Hemsterhuis

Frans Hemsterhuis

In the 18th century (1767), the building where you will now find Toussaintkade no. 20, was inhabited by Frans Hemsterhuis (1721 – 1790). The street at that time was still called Veenlaan and the building was (probably) called ‘Vorstelijk Thuynzigt’. Hemsterhuis was a Dutch artist and philosopher (nickname Haagse Plato). He was curator of the stadtholder’s medals and antiquities collection and secretary at the Council of the State in The Hague.

Composer Johannes Verhulst

Johannes Verhulst

Johannes Verhulst (1816 – 1891) lived around 1870 at the Toussaintkade number 20. He was a Dutch composer and conductor. Johannes Verhulst was nicknamed ’the only one’ because he was – mid-nineteenth century – the most important conductor and one of the few important Dutch composers of that time. His name is included in the Hall of Fame of Composers in the Great Hall of the Royal Concertgebouw.


Photographer C.J.L. Vermeulen

Portrait of C.J.L. Vermeulen with a newspaper c. 1900 – c. 1920 
More information: Rijksmuseum

Cornelis Johannes Lodewicus Vermeulen (1861 – 1936) was a well-known photographer. He owned 5 photographic studios in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague. Vermeulen owned two studios on the Toussaintkade, one at no. 11 and at no. 20. The building at no. 20, as it is now, was built in about 1880. The foundation stone of the photographic studio (which is now Studio Simoncini) was laid by Bram and David Vermeulen. The narrow, tucked away attic was once used during the Second World War as a shelter by the then 12-year-old Ton Weiler (1927-2021) and his brother Dolf Weiler.

During the crisis around 1933-34, the only remaining photo shop at the Toussainkade was taken over from the Vermeulen family by Photographer Antonius Gerardus Weiler (1886 – 1987). He was the first “clerk” at Vermeulen and married his daughter Grietje Vermeulen.

Portrait of Bram and David Vermeulen. Photo album of the family and house of photographer C.J.L. Vermeulen.

Mirella Simoncini received the above information during a special conversation in August 2019 with Professor Dr. A.G. (Ton) Weiler (1927-2021).

First Dance Steps

Mirella Simoncini 1972 for the first time at the barre on the Toussaintkade

In 1970 the Simoncini family moved into the building at the Toussaintkade. The photo studio was equipped with a barre, a piano and mirrors and remains in its original state to this day. The large windows, soft green colors and nostalgic wooden floor give the studio a special romantic and warm atmosphere. In 1972, the then 2-year-old Mirella took her first dance steps in the studio.

The Toussainkade and passionate entrepreneurs of today

Toussaintkade, place of many artists and passionated entrepreneurs

The Toussaintkade is still the place for artists and passionated entrepreneurs. Such as the direct neighbors of Studio Simoncini: Antiques store Toussaint by Ronald van der Horst, Graphic designer and funeral director Erik Cox, the historic Toussainthuis, clothing store Moofersclothing and Restaurant De Bistrooh. And a little further down the street Galerie Ramakers and the designers of Multicopy.

Do you have extra information. Or do you see an error in the above information? Let us know.

“Ballet should never look predictable. When you dance each move you make is a promise. Even when standing in preparation you are making a promise that there is a story to be told”

- Mirella Simoncini