Petit Futé's opinion on RIJKSMUSEUM
Magnificent museum of the city, its visit is an enchantment. You will admire Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals in a majestic setting.
A journey through beauty and time. After more than ten years of painstaking but forgotten work, the Rijksmuseum (pronounced [Raïksmuséum]) reopened in April 2013, inaugurated by Queen Beatrix in one of her last public interventions as sovereign. This museum alone justifies a visit to Amsterdam, and it should take at least four hours, preferably a whole day. To guide you on your visit, we have compiled an overview of the highlights of the museum that you should not miss. With its new look, the Rijksmuseum is a journey through the (artistic) history of the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. This history unfolds in an international context and over 4 floors... Some people say that this is the real museum of Dutch history, and they are certainly not wrong... With more than 8,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, silverware, Delft porcelain, furniture and other objects, the visitor to the Rijksmuseum experiences total beauty in a historical context. Its spectacular renovation, which has revealed ornate ceilings, is of great beauty and has placed this museum even more on the world museum map, justifying a visit on its own as much for its collection as for its exhibitions.
Middle Ages and Renaissance (1100-1600). Superb rooms with dark walls, paintings and various objects, including Jan van Scorel, Maria Magdalena , ca. 1530; Mater Dolorosa , ca. 1500-1510; Les Pleurants, ten bronze figures.
The Golden Century (1600-1700). More than 30 rooms are dedicated to this period of total Dutch development. The highlight of this part is the Gallery of Honour, which presents the works of Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt. The final room is dedicated to Rembrandt's Night Watch. À not to be missed: Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642; Rembrandt van Rijn, The Jewish Bride, v. 1665-1669; Johannes Vermeer, The Dairy, 1660; Johannes Vermeer, The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter , v. 1663; Gerrit Berckheyde, The Golden Curvature in the Herengracht, 1671; Jan Steen, The Mayor of Delft and his Daughter, 1655 ; Frans Hals, Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix van der Laan, c. 1622 ; Doll 'shouses by Petronella Oortman, c. 1686-1710.
18th century (1700-1800). The Netherlands was no longer a strong nation and the money earned was transformed into housing. In the 18th century, the interiors of houses were of great importance. This period is distinguished by its refinement and the development of good taste. Not to be missed: L' Amour menaçant, Étienne-Maurice Falconet (commissioned by Madame de Pompadour), 1757; De Beuningkamer, mahogany style room in a patrician house, 1748; Jean-Étienne Liotard, Portrait de Marie Fargues, 1765-1768.
19th century (1800-1900). Beginning of the royalty and a period that saw important scientific discoveries, it is symbolized by a great modernization. Not to be missed : Jan Willem Pieneman, Waterloo, 1824; Cassette with pistols of Napoleon, c. 1813-1815; Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait, 1887; George Breitner, Girl in white kimono, 1894.
20th century (1900-2000). A completely new presentation for this century with furniture, paintings, photographs, posters, films, historical objects and numerous loans from other museums, providing a portrait of the cultural and artistic history of the modern Netherlands in the last century. Not to be missed: Gerrit Rietveld, White Armchair, 1923; Piet Mondriaan, Trafalgar Square, 1942; Frits Koolhoven, Dubbeldekker F.K.23, named ' Bantam', 1917; Karel Appel, De vierkante man, 1951; Le Corbusier, Model of the Philips pavilion for the Brussels World Exhibition, 1958.
Arts asiatiques. This collection is presented in a new pavilion designed by the architects Cruz and Ortiz gemaakt all in concrete and surrounded by water. On two floors, it reflects magic, beauty and wonder. Various objects from China, Japan, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Thailand are presented. The objects (from 2000 BC to 2000) are presented by country.
The Cuypers library. This is the oldest art library in the Netherlands, which has been restored after intensive work. The beautiful reading room is visible and you really have to go there.
Special collections. The museum also has special collections of silverware, musical instruments, various relics, weapons and miniature ships, all presented in a sublime manner.
Miscellaneous collections, fashion, photos and drawings. The museum shows part of its very rich collection with a presentation that changes regularly. That of the costumes changes every six months.
Short history of the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum opened its doors as a national gallery in 1800. At that time it was located at the Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. Its collection consisted mainly of paintings and historical objects. The museum moved to Amsterdam in 1808, by order of Napoleon, to the Royal Palace on Dam Square. Napoleon wanted Amsterdam to become a leading cultural and artistic centre. In 1816, William I moved the museum to the Trippenhuis, a kind of Venetian palace that two merchant brothers had built in the Kloveniersbugwal, and renamed it the Rijksmuseum. The present building was opened in 1885, incorporating the collections of the Museum of History and Art in The Hague.
Cuypers Cathedral. The need for a genuine national museum was felt and construction began in 1876 after lengthy negotiations. The architect, Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921), created a brick building with a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It was officially inaugurated on 13 July 1885. The collection included paintings and prints of the Trippenhuis as well as all the paintings of the city of Amsterdam, including the famous Rembrandt. The 19th century collection from Haarlem was added to the museum and a large part of the Cabinet of Curiosities which had been integrated into the National Museum of History and Art was added.
Renovations. As the collections grew in size, space was soon in short supply and expansion work was carried out over the years. Rooms were added between 1904 and 1916 on the south side (now the Philips Wing) to display the collections of paintings bequeathed by the Drucker-Fraser couple. Courtyards were added in the 1950s and 1960s to expand the display space. The 1950s also saw the birth of the Asian collection following the integration of the collection of the Association of Friends of Asian Art.
The 1970s were a time of high attendance, underlining the need for modern standards. This need was felt more and more until the 1990s, making it inevitable that the work would be completed (in full) in 2015 following the grand reopening in 2013.
Information on RIJKSMUSEUM
7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. Admission 20 € (19 € online), free for minors. Audioguide at 5 €. Guided tour to book.
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