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Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The quintessence of Dutch art

Address

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

GPS: 52.360132347293, 4.8854835735966

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The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is one of the most renowned cultural institutions in the world. It has the largest concentration of paintings by Dutch masters. Built in 1885 in a neo-Gothic building designed by the Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers, the museum was extensively restored in the early 2000s. After ten years of work, it was given a new look and reopened in April 2013. The inauguration took place in the presence of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, just a few days before the end of her 33-year reign (she abdicated at the age of 75 in favour of her eldest son, Willem-Alexander).

Occupying four floors and 12,000 m² of exhibition space, the Rijksmuseum ranks among the largest museums in the world. Its galleries contain no less than 14,000 outstanding paintings, sculptures, furniture and art objects, which are presented to the public in 80 new exhibition rooms. On the ground floor, the museum recounts episodes in the country’s early colonial expansion and the rich history of the Dutch East India Company. With an estimated total collection of over one million pieces, it is the most visited art museum in the Netherlands (2.5 million visitors per year) ahead of the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

The Rijksmuseum has some of the most famous works of art in the world, starting with 17th century paintings from the golden age of Dutch painting. During this period, the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands imposed its artistic supremacy on other European painters. Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt and Frans Hals were the leading figures of the Dutch Baroque movement. In total, the magnificent collection of the Rijksmuseum covers a period of more than 500 years (from the 15th to the early 20th century). It is distinguished by its Dutch masterpieces, including the largest collection of Rembrandt paintings in the world.

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  • The arcade gallery at the entrance to the museum; the hushed and refined atmosphere of the place; the arrangement of the paintings
  • The major collections of Dutch painters presented in the Gallery of Honour on the first floor (Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer, Frans Hals, Gerrit Dou, Willem van de Velde…)
  • The modern art and decorative arts collections
  • The series of furniture, sculptures, ceramics, porcelain, woodwork, textiles, earthenware, armour, silverware, model ships, dolls’ houses…
  • The Asian pavilion with art pieces from China, Indonesia, Japan, India, Thailand and Vietnam
  • The national print collection (Rijksprentenkabinet) part of the Rijksmuseum (the largest collection of drawings, prints and photographs in the country)
  • The Rijksmuseum Research Library (Cuypersbibliotheek) and the new museum gardene
  • The opening every day of the year (9 am to 5 pm)
  • The free mobile application available to visitors (free Wi-Fi)
  • Founded in 1800, the Rijksmuseum was formerly based in The Hague. It was not until 1808 that it was moved to the Royal Palace Amsterdam by decision of the King of Holland Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon’s brother), before occupying its present location from 1885.
  • The year 2019 marked the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. To mark this occasion, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam has exhibited almost all the artist’s works from the museum’s own collection for the first time in its history. This includes a series of 22 paintings (mostly portraits), 60 drawings (covering all the artist’s periods) and 1,300 prints (of which only a selection of 300 were shown to the public).
  • One of Rembrandt’s best-known paintings, The Night Watch, has been scanned at very high resolution by the Rijksmuseum team. Accessible online, it allows you to zoom in close enough to detect new details that only a handful of restorers are lucky enough to observe: the artist’s brushstrokes, facial features and facial expressions of the figures, colour pigments, plays of light and shadow… This 44.8 gigapixel digital image has been photographed more than 500 times to achieve this level of precision.
  • The Rijksmuseum is easily accessible by tram or bus (stop at Hobbemastraat or Spiegelgracht) and by bicycle.
  • To maximise your visit time, buy your ticket online (valid for one year from the date of purchase) and plan to come early in the morning (before 10 am) or late in the afternoon (after 3 pm).
  • The museum is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility and guide dogs for visually impaired people are accepted. The museum has a free cloakroom and free Wi-Fi. Photos are allowed inside.
  • A discounted rate is given to holders of the I Amsterdam City Card. Admission is free for holders of the Museumkaart (the Museum card), giving free access to around 30 museums in the Dutch capital.

Where to eat

  • Omelegg - De Pijp
    (the omelette house)
  • Levant
    (typical Turkish food)
  • Ciel Bleu Restaurant
    (outstanding cuisine)

Where to go

  • Vondelpark
    (huge English-style park)
  • Concertgebouw
    (performance hall)
  • Albert Cuypmarkt
    (large day market)

Where to stay

  • Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark
    (quiet hostel)
  • Vondelparkmuseum B&B
    (like at home)
  • The Dylan
    (historic and charming)

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