Considering that the offerings filled only a dozen or so rooms, there were certainly a host of superstars to from which to choose - Hals, Steen, lots of Rembrandt, Avercamp, and of course Vermeer ( only two of the museum's four pieces were displayed ). World class museum, make no mistake.
The Milkmaid - Johannes Vermeer - a superficially simple painting of a kitchen maid pouring milk into a Dutch Oven is, as is so often the case with Vermeer, filled with subtleties of sexuality, from the wide orifice of the oven to the cupid figures on the tiles near the floor to the footwarmer ( a symbol of female sexual arousal ). As always, the exquisite use of lighting and the stolid hardworking demeanor of the subject are pure Vermeer. Far more on one of my favorites on the Delft page and the Vermeer Center.
Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters - Hendrick Avercamp - the master of winter landscapes during the Dutch Golden Age pays homage to the Flemish master Pieter Breughel. Indeed, on first glimpse, Breughel came immeditely to mind. The scene stretches into the distance, filled with skaters but also with scattered humorous insets. Careful attention and preknowledge will show one skater face down on the snow, another urinating, and of to the side a couple in amorous embrace seen through a window. A bird trap is identical to one depicted by Breughel and the brewery bears the coat of arms of Antwerp. Paintings like this equalize the members of society - amongst the skaters are those at work - fishermen, a reed cutter, a beggar. Somewhere in here is a bare bum - look closely.
Marriage Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laen - Frans Hals - a premier portrait painter of the Golden Age was another Dutch painter who revolutionized his genre - here the usually formal portraits, often done as doubles, become a single informally posed painting filled with symbolism. Her hand with wedding ring on his shoulder, his hand over his heart, the smiles, love birds in the background. Hals did only portraits, no landscapes. The background scenery in his paintings was all subcontracted.
The Merry Drinker - Frans Hals - the loosely structured style of Hals, felt by many to be the best portrait painter of the Golden Age, features a bon vivant glass in the left hand and expressive open right hand, offers an example of portraiture of the less than upper class. As with the more famous Gypsy Girl, his loose coarse brushstroke style reflects his painting style in the later years.
Banquet in Celebration of the Treaty of Munster - Bartholomew van der Helst - this large painting is the first in the miniature tour, occupying a place of honor as one of the most important events in Dutch history. By this treaty with Spain, the United Netherlands became independent of Spain and started on the road to world economic dominance, bringing an end to the Eighty Years War. Here, a group of guards celebrate with food and drink the end of hostilities. van der Helst was a competent painter, his detail structured and his faces accurately rendered, but without the genius of other portrait painters of the era with their more inventive use of color and innovative technique.
the rijksmuseum is an amsterdam landmark. this impressive neo-gothic building was built in 1885. one of the world's great art museums it possesses an impressive collection of dutch art. following is a small sampling of the masterpieces of the museum, dirck jacobsz, "pompejus occo", cornelisz van oostsanen, "self portrait", anthonisz, "banquet of the civic guard", avercamp, "great winter landscape", frans hals, "the merry drinker", versprock, "girl in blue", vermeer's "the kitchen maid", jan steen's "lady at her toilet". the rijksmuseum has a huge collection of the works of rembrandt van rijn, some examples are "the jewish bride", "self portrait as st. paul", " the syndics of the cloth guild", and his famous "the night watch". the rijksmuseum is a must see site when visiting amsterdam.
Since hotels ask 20 - 25 € for their breakfast I found a better way to satisfy my - small - appetite when starting a new day. I found this in the museum by looking at these still life paintings called "ontbijtgen" (breakfast) showing bread, fruit, various cheeses more or less old on a table covered with a costly damask tablecloth. This painting is from Floris Claesz van Dijck (pic 1) a specialist of still life paintings.
(I tried to eat something in the museum cafeteria but there was queuing all over the day pic 4).
Other types of still life that flourished in Holland are the so called "Pronkstukken" luxurious still life showing tin, silver, sometimes gold plated beakers, cups, plates, a nautilus shell, Venetian glassware. The objects reflect each other and are posed on precious tissues. These still lifes often showed oysters, crab and a half peeled lemon
Willem Claesz. Heda (pic 2) was a master of these "pronk" still lifes rendering different materials and fabrics and the reflections of light on them.
The other one is from Pieter Claesz. showing a turkey pie (pic 3).
At lunch time I use to stand in front of this Banquet still life by Adriaen van Utrecht. A lobster and some fruit is just what I need.
N.B. the ...z. one find in Dutch names like Pieter Claesz. means "Claeszoon" son of Claes.
The profusion of arts in the 17 th. c. was not a sui generis phenomena but the result of an extraordinary commercial expansion sustained by maritime power. The Netherlands were one of the three most important sea powers of that time and dominated the world trade.
That was not without wars at sea against England, Spain, and Portugal in which the Dutch Republic won some spectacular victories.
This resulted in an important demand for marine paintings. Several of the best are on display on the museum. Significant for the maritime history is the large room 2.15 called William Rex room after the very large ship model exposed. It is a 72 guns typical Dutch warship of the late 17th c (pic 1).
In that room are on display a number of paintings illustrating Dutch victories against England and Spain.
Very interesting for the marine historians are the "pen paintings" made with pen and ink on canvas by Willem van de Velde I because of all the details. My photo shows part of the Battle of Terheiden (pic 2) in which the Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp was killed. The painter was on board of one of the ships.
His son Willem van de Velde II the Younger became one of the best Dutch marine painters. My photos show the "The surrender of the Royal Prince" (pic 3) to Admiral Tromp and one of the most appreciated marine paintings by Willem van de Velde II "Dutch ships in a calm" (pic 4 )
When he went to England to work at the court of Charles II Ludolf Backhuyzen (photo of "Man-of-War Brielle on river Maas" pic 5 ) followed him up with many others.
Even though our hotel was directly opposite this place - there were so many other things we wanted to see and do that we never got here on our first trip. So the second time we went, in February, we made sure we gave it a once over. This is where the Rembrandts, Vermeers etc are.
When we visited it was 9E entry
One of Amsterdam's two leading museums, the Rijksmuseum was built in an inventive historic style by Petrus Cuypers(1827-1921) who was also the creator of Centraal Station, in the early 1880's.
Cuypers was the leading architect of the day but specialized in building neo-Gothic churches, but requiring something more ambitious the result was neo-Renaissance style then popular in the Netherlands, with towers and turrets, galleries, dormer windows and medallions.
The museum has an extravagant collection of paintings from every pre twentieth century period of Dutch art (including the superb sample from the so-called Golden Age of the seventeenth century) together with a vast hoard of applied art and sculpture.
If you can see just one museum in Amsterdam, this is the one. The Rijksmuseum is the largest repository of art in the Netherlands and has a particularly expansive and valuable collection by Dutch painters including at least 20 paintings and additional sketches by Rembrandt van Rijn. Those alone are worth the ticket price but my favorites are the few Vermeers: four of only 35 that exist in the world.
The million-item collection is housed in an impressive late-19th century structure built specifically for this purpose and which was, unfortunately, undergoing massive renovation. Only one wing was open to visitors, and only a selection of the most important works on display; the overhaul had been going on since 2003 and isn't expected to be completed until 2013. The line at the temporary entrance was long and the group behind us was complaining that their I Amsterdam Passes (we didn't have) evidently didn't provide for skipping but I'm not sure that was the case although I didn't see a queue for ticket/pass-holders. The most lovely of the four Vermeers was disappointingly out on loan but I really enjoy others of the Golden Age Dutch artists so while our visit was much shorter than I'd wished, the abbreviated collection was rich in the best of those.
The museum is open every day during construction from 9:00 to 18:00, and is best visited during the week as gallery space is somewhat limited until renovation is complete. Entry fees as of this writing are €12,50 for ages 19 and over, free for ages 18 and under, and there are no student/senior discounts.
You must check coats, large bags, backpacks, umbrellas, and large prams. Smaller baby strollers are OK but not backpack-type carriers for infants.
Entry involves a security check: metal detector and inspection of bags/purses.
Sadly, photography/filming is not allowed.
See the website for the most current info on the renovation, entry fees and hours, accessibility, etc.
No surprise - even a limited tour of the Rijksmuseum collection is dominated by the works of Rembrandt van Rijn ( 1606-69 ), considered the greatest of Dutch painters and one of Europe's finest. A renowned portait artist, early successes brought fame, money, and a large studio of fellow artists and students. Sadly, he was also a bit eccentric and lived well beyond his income in a large house near the Jewish district - his later years were filled with the sadness of losing a wife and several children, financial issues, and ultimate bankruptcy. His most famous works include portraits of individuals and groups, biblical themes, and most remarkably a large number of self portraits which offer an autobiography in oil of his life from young and exuberant to older and worldwise. While much of his technique is considered exceptional, his use of darkness and light has always been of personal interest, no better displayed than "The Abduction of Persephone ", the lead image on my berlin review of the Gemaldegallerie.
The Company of Frans Banning Cocq - Night Watch -arguably Rembrandt's most famous work, including on the introduction page for Amsterdam, a group portrait of a company of Civic Guards. What distinguishes this group portrait from so many others is the implied mobility of the subjects, rather than just sitting still and posed, a synonym for Amsterdam in the Golden Age. There are a few strange features, notably the girl with the chicken and a dwarf - shown in as much detail as the leading figures. Rembrandt was nothing if not a little strange - featuring minor figures like these would eventually lead to a significant loss of popularity and commissions.
Image 1 - Made famous as the face of Dutch Master cigars, the Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild was painted in 1662, late in Rembrandt's career, but one of his many masterful group portraits.
Image 2 - The Young Rembrandt - a curly headed young hippie, already experimenting with dark and light in his paintings.
Image 3 - Self Portrait as the Apostle Paul - 1661 - an older wiser man resigned to fate, the end of an autobiography.
Image 4 - Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem - 1630 - hardly a painting intended for a big sale price, this sad work depicts Jeremiah who predicted the sack of Jerusalem following the destruction of the city by the Babylonians. The chaos is in the background, the attention is to the old man slumped in defeat and despair in the forefront. The face tells it all - take a few extra seconds to appreciate this work.
Image 5 - Isaac and Rebecca, aka The Jewish Bride (1667) - Rembrandt lived in the Jewish Quarter but there is actually no proof that this loving couple is named Isaac and Rebecca or that they are even Jewish. A touching portrait of a loving couple set against a typical dark gloomy background.
Definitely a world class museum, the Rijksmuseum houses an amazing number of works. Unfortunately the museum was being renovated when we were there so much of the museum was not open to the public. The museum houses Dutch masterpieces (paintings) from the Golden Age and the star is Rembrandt. There were many paintings from his students as well, but Rembrandt’s paintings were special. They had a certain lighting or coloring to them. Although it’s not one of my favorites, Rembrandt’s (very large) Night Watch is the most famous painting in the museum.
I really liked the still lifes by various artists. They were so perfect they actually looked like photographs. There was an adorable statue of cupid that I liked as well.
The museum has special exhibitions; check the website for further info. Tickets available online. I recommend getting the audio guide. Within walking distance of Van Gogh museum.
Open 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (8:30 p.m. on Fridays).
Adults: € 11
18 and under: free
Visitor information was correct as of this writing.
With a bit of advance planning it is now possible to order and print tickets for the Rijksmuseum online, so as to avoid waiting in line for tickets at the entrance. (Click on the link below for details of this.)
At this writing parts of the Rijksmuseum are closed for rebuilding, renovation and modernization. But this process is being spread out over several years, until 2009, and it's a big museum so there will always be more than enough to see whenever you go there, particularly paintings by the great masters of the 17th century.
The museum is open every day from 9:00 to 18:00, Fridays till 22:00.
Update: It took four years longer than planned, but on April 13, 2013, the renovated Rijksmuseum was finally re-opened. VT member breughel braved the crowds shortly after the re-opening, and he has given some good practical advice about the museum in one of his recent tips.
Second photo: Entrance to the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum is world renown for it's great works of art, especially it's many pieces of the Netherland's favorite son, Rembrandt. But all of it's paintings, sculptures, and artifacts allow you not only to admire the works themselves, and the artists that created them. They also allow you to take a trip into Dutch history, primarily it's colonial period, when their mastery of the sea allowed them to control a mighty empire that spanned the globe. From their old colonies in the East Indies, as well as the West Indies, to the very tip of southern Africa, you get a great sense of how widespread this small nation's iffluence was dispersed. Well worth the 9 Euros to enter. And bring a camera, they allow photos to be taken inside, without flash of couse.
The Rijksmuseum is internationally renowned for its exhibitions and publications and not only are these high quality products, but are also areas in which the museum extends the boundaries of scholarship and encourages new insights.
The museum also devotes considerable resources to education and to the decor and layout of exhibitions. Leading designers are regularly commissioned to work on Rijksmuseum projects.
From December 2003 to 2008 the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam will undergo the biggest rebuilding, renovation and modernisation programme in its history. During this period the finest works from the 17th century in the Rijksmuseum will continue to be on view under the title The Masterpieces. The redesigned Philips Wing will provide an opportunity to see the highlights of the Golden Age together in surprising combinations. The more than 400 masterpieces will be on display in the Philips Wing from 20 December.
The famous dolls' houses, the finest Delftware, a wealth of silver, icons of Dutch history and of course the paintings by the great masters of the 17th century, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Vermeer and Rembrandt will have a provisional new home in the Philips Wing. For many of these works this will be the first time that they have left their place in the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt's Night Watch, for example, has rarely left the main building designed by Pierre Cuypers since it opened in 1885.
THE RIJKSMUSEUM WILL OPEN IN FULL GLORY AT APRIL 13, 2013 (after e decade of renovation).
Opening hours & admission
The Rijksmuseum will be the first national museum in the world to be open to the public 365 days per year. The museum will be open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission will be €15, the museum remains free for children under 19.
In 1885 the Rijksmuseum designed by P.J.H. Cuypers was completed. It's one of the Dutch UNESCO heritage monuments.
The collection has a longer history. The former Dutch Stadtholders started collecting the paintings which got a first home at the Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, called the Nationale Kunst-Galerij in 1800. In 1806 Lodewijk Napoleon became King of Holland and the galery was renamed into Koninklijk Museum.
In 1808 the museum moved to Amsterdam where the collection joined the capital's art collection (with Rembrandt's Nightwatch), The new location was at the upper palace of the Royal Palace at the Dam square.
During WWII most of the collection was moved to caves of the Sint Pietersberg at Maastricht.
On the moment a 10 year renovation program is in progress.
Admission: € 15.00
Daily: 9AM - 5PM
Infocenter (Het Nieuwe Rijksmuseum)
Th-Su: 11AM - 4PM
Library, picture cabinet & study hall
Tu-Sa: 10AM - 5PM
Rijksmuseum branche at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Transit Area); Free entrance
All week: 7AM - 8PM
The Rijksmuseum boasts the finest collection of Dutch work anywhere. Masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrantd, and Hals among others are packed into this vast and amazing building. As visitors follow the chronology of Dutch art, evidence of a shift from religious to secular art is very apparent, mainly because of the decision of local churches to discontinue commissioning art, which in turn lead many artists to begin working for wealthy patrons. In these later works, still lifes and portraits of aristocratic persons are the main focus, as evident in many of Vermeer's paintings. Unfortunately, the Rijksmuseum has been closed for renovation until 2007, but many of its works are still on display in the Philips wing (southern wing of the museum).