Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam


The Rijksmuseum

My second day in Amsterdam was a beautiful Sunday, and I had 9 AM tickets for the Rijksmuseum. So I got up early and left the Social Hub with just a cup of coffee in my stomach.

When you travel to the Rijksmuseum by public transportation, you arrive on a trolley, I was on the No. 1, which travels along Weteringschans, and stops along a canal, in front of the museum. My plan was to find someplace to eat in the center of the city, but I found nothing open, not even a bakery whose website said it should have been. But being out so early on a Sunday meant that there were very few people out, and I had the canals almost to myself.

Eventually, I walked under the museum to the Museumplein, a park that is home to several cultural institutions. The park originally opened in 1883 as part of the Colonial and Export Exhibition. It was rebuilt in 1999, and now includes an underground garage and supermarket. The Museumplein also serves as a place for large festivals and concerts. Here I found open food kiosks, so it as coffee and a waffle for breakfast.

The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of Dutch art. It is best known for its collection of paintings by Rembrandt, and the highlight of his works here is The Night Watch. Measuring 3.6m x 4.7 m (12 ft x 14 ft), this painting was thought for many years to be a depiction of the Amsterdam city watch on patrol. In 2019 a complex restoration of the painting began. Uniquely, this process is being carried out in the exhibition hall, for all to see. It was quickly discovered that under the grime and smoke residue, that painting is, in fact, set in a hall, in their hall before heading out.

The Night Watch by Rembrandt

The Rijksmuseum has a collection that spans close to 500 years of Dutch art. It contains works from many different artistic movements. Here is a small sample of what I found:

The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt

The Merry Family by Jan Havicksz Steen

Cerro al Volturno, Abruzzo by Escher

Weerbare Democratic by Dick Effers

View of the Golden Bend by Gerrit Berckheyde

Rijksmuseum research library

Allegory on the Abdication of Charles V in Brussels by Franz Franken II

Winter Landscape with Ics Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp

Screaming Child attributed to Hendrick de Kayser

Merchant and an Enslaved Servant by Anon.

Pietje by Suze Robertson

Shop Windows by Isaac Israels

Self Portrait by Van Gogh

The Singel Bridge at the Paleisstraat in Amsterdam by George Hendrik Breitner

Leaving the museum, I spent the afternoon exploring the center of Amsterdam. I had lunch at Lombardo’s, a hole-in-the-wall place that dishes up an excellent lamb burger. Then I wandered along the canals, slowly making my way towards Central Station, where I caught the subway back to my hotel, for a well earned rest.  


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