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 10 years of painstaking but since forgotten work, the Rijksmuseum (pronounced [Raïksmuséum]) reopened in April 2013, inaugurated by Queen Beatrix in one of her last public appearances as sovereign. This museum alone justifies a visit to Amsterdam and should be visited for at least 4 hours or, preferably, a whole day. To guide you on your visit, we have compiled a list of the highlights of the museum that you should not miss. With its new presentation, 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 on four floors... Some people say that this is the real history museum of the Netherlands 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 has a total experience of beauty in a historical context. Its spectacular renovation, which revealed ornate ceilings, is a thing of beauty and has further placed this museum on the world museum map, justifying a visit in its own right for both its collection and its exhibitions.
Middle Ages and Renaissance (1100-1600). Superb rooms with dark walls, there are paintings and various objects, including Jan van Scorel, Maria Magdalena, about 1530; Mater Dolorosa, about 1500-1510; The Mourners, ten figures in bronze.
The Golden Age (1600-1700). More than 30 rooms are devoted to this period of the Dutch boom. The highlight of this section is the Gallery of Honour, with works by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt. The final room is devoted to Rembrandt's Night Watch. rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch, 1642; Rembrandt van Rijn, The Jewish Bride, c. 1665-1669; Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, 1660; Johannes Vermeer, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, c. 1663; Gerrit Berckheyde, The Golden Bend 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 ; Petronella Oortman'sDolls' Houses, c. 1686-1710.
Eighteenth century (1700-1800). The Netherlands was no longer a strong nation and the money earned was put into housing. In the 18th century, the interior of the house was of paramount 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 of a patrician house, 1748; Jean-Étienne Liotard, Portrait de Marie Fargues, 1765-1768.
19th century (1800-1900). Beginning of the royalty and a time of 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 with 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, called 'Bantam', 1917; Karel Appel, De vierkante man, 1951; Le Corbusier, Model of the Philips pavilion, for the Brussels World Fair, 1958.
Asian arts. 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 you can find reflection, 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 and has been extensively restored. The beautiful reading room is visible and should definitely be visited.
Special collections. The museum also has special collections of silverware, musical instruments, relics, weapons and miniature ships, all of which are beautifully presented.
Various collections, fashion, photos and drawings. The museum shows a part of its very rich collection with a presentation that changes regularly. The costume collection 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 in the Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. Its collection contained mainly 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 sort of Venetian palace built by two merchant brothers in the Kloveniersbugwal, and renamed it the Rijksmuseum. The present building opened in 1885, incorporating the collections of The Hague Museum of History and Art.
Cuypers' cathedral. The need for a truly national museum was felt and construction began in 1876 after lengthy negotiations. The architect, Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921), created a brick building that was a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance. It was officially inaugurated on 13 July 1885. The collection gathered the paintings and prints of the Trippenhuis as well as all the paintings of the city of Amsterdam, including the famous Rembrandts. 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 quickly at a premium and over the years the museum was expanded. 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 Friends of Asian Art.
The 1970s saw a very high level of attendance, underlining the need for modern standards. This need was increasingly felt until the 1990s, making it inevitable that the work would be completed (in full) in 2015 following the grand reopening in 2013.
In 2021 a major exhibition on slavery will be on display from spring to August 29. From October1, 2021 to January 16, 2022, the exhibition "Remember me" is devoted to portraits around 1500
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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