Travel is only half fulfilling unless you immerse yourself into destinations rich in culture, history and arts. You get most of the culture from the food experience, the edifices around, and the people you meet. As a visitor you should not pass up the chance of going to a local museum especially if it is the kind of museum like Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.
Standing resplendently like a castle, Rijksmuseum, or the State museum, is one of the oldest museums in Europe and has been with us for over two centuries now. This lengthy existence warrants its extraordinary collections of old paintings highlighting its own most celebrated Dutch masters as Rembrandt and Vermeer. The museum encapsulates 800 years of the Netherland’s history and the art from the Middle ages to contemporary times. Some 8,000 works in 80 exhibit rooms are on display.
For the Rembrandt fan, the Rijksmuseum is a delightful collection of the artists work. The exhibition “Late Rembrandt” which has been running from February until May of this year, showcases the master’s works at the pinnacle of of his life as an artist. These works total over a hundred paintings, drawings and prints. Rijksmuseum has managed to curate these works from other museums and individual’s private collections. The Late Rembrandt Exhibition is definitely a once in a lifetime experience and opportunity to know Rembrandt like you have never before.
The Masterpiece collections exhibit some 200 works such as old paintings, sculptures and inventions. Don’t miss Van Gogh’s self-portrait, Pieneman’s “The Battle of Waterloo”, The Javanese Court Collections of paintings, and the astounding sculptures like “The Portraite of Andries de Graeff” and “The Seated Cupid”. A must-see would be the Gallery of Honour featuring paintings of world renowned masters including Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Vermeer and Rembrandt. The famous Night Watch will take your breath away, as well as the popular piece entitled “The Milkmaid”.
For the tea lovers, the museum exhibits an elegant collection of Delft Blue pottery. Gorgeous tea sets and stunning vases will surely wow you! If this is not enough, understand life in the Golden Age through Rijksmuseum’s Doll’s Houses. The oldest in the collections dates back to 1676.
Don’t miss the Cuypersbibliotheek too! It is the biggest and oldest art history library in the country but has been fully renovated recently. Nevertheless, the glorious antique touch has been greatly preserved. The reading rooms are splendid, the spiral staircase for reaching the books is so romantic, and the lights are warm and inviting. Everyone interested in the study of art history is encouraged to come here. iPads for studying are available, and Wi-Fi is free.
The museum offers tours depending on your need or preference. There are guided tours for families and children, or groups. It also facilitates school groups or excursions. The Rijksmuseum is open daily from 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM. Entrance frees are Adults: 17.50 or including surcharge for Late Rembrandt: 25. Youth aged 18 and under, Museumkaart holders, members of ICOM, ICOMOS, UNESCO, the Rembrandt Association (Vereniging Rembrandt), KOG, Vrienden van de Aziatische Kunst and Vrienden van het Rijksmuseum have free admission. Holders of CJP, Stadspas or EYCA: 50% reduction on regular ticket price. You can also obtain tickets on line!