A visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Museum of Holland, is a MUST if you are ever in the land of tulips. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the city centre of Amsterdam and is home to an impressive collection of Dutch art and history.
After ten years of renovation, restoration and rebuilding, the Rijksmuseum re-opened all its doors on 13 April 2013. Go early in the day to avoid the crowds and to have time to explore the 80 galleries on offer. And do wear comfortable shoes. We visited the museum on a rainy day. The Rijksmuseum presents the history of the Netherlands in an international context from 1100 to present. Highlights include the finest collections by great masters of the 17th century such as Rembrandt van Rijn’s Night Watch (de Nachtwacht) one of the most famous works by the Dutch master.
Here is what to expect: Captions from www.rijksmuseum.nl.
The Rijksmuseum owns 175 full suits of armour and individual pieces.
The Rijksmuseum owns approximately 7250 ceramic objects, subdivided into porcelain (more than 4600 pieces), majolica (app. 400), faience (app. 1750) and stoneware (app. 850).
The earliest costumes and accessories date from the 17th century, the most recent from the second half of the 20th century. Most items of apparel and accessories originate from the upper classes and were collected because of their cut, fabric or decoration.
Seated Cupid, Étienne-Maurice Falconet, 1757. Already in the 18th century this famous sculpture was known by various nicknames, the best known of which was l’amour menaçant, ‘menacing love’.
The Sick Child, Gabriël Metsu. In 1663 the plague raged throughout Amsterdam, killing one in ten citizens. Dating from around this time is Metsu’s poignant portrayal of a sick child, rendered in powerful, bright colours against a grey background. The scene is reminiscent of a pieta, a representation of the Virgin Mary holding her son’s dead body in her lap.
Portrait of Gerard Andriesz Bicker, Bartholomeus van der Helst, c. 1642. Like his father, the twenty-year-old Gerard Bicker is portrayed as self-assured, his arm akimbo.
Mondrian dress, Yves Saint Laurent. The abstract geometric visual language of De Stijl in the 1920s inspired a new generation of artists forty years later. The French couturier Yves Saint Laurent won international success with dresses inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. This is the most elementary model of the six variants presented by Yves Saint Laurent in 1965.
Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, Known as de ‘Night Watch’, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1642
After a visit to the museum don’t forget to take a picture with the ‘I AM Amsterdam’ sign.