Rijksmuseum is the grandest museum in Netherlands and is home to a whopping collection of artifacts and artworks that depict the Golden Age beginnings of Amsterdam through to the recent ones. When on a private Rijksmuseum tour, you might feel that there is not enough time to check out all the treasures in the museum, as there are 8000 objects displayed in 80 galleries here. Anyway, below are some of the key highlights of Rijksmuseum that you should not miss.
Before even entering the museum, you can enjoy the beauty of the sculpture filled garden, which was designed by the artist named Pierre Cuypers in the year 1901. In between the water features, topiaries, and flowerbeds, you can find a big wingnut tree, overlooking the play area. There are also installations and temporary exhibitions under the tree.
This is the painting of a domestic servant by Johannes Vermeer; it is one of the most recognizable paintings by the artist. Art lovers will truly admire the saturated tones of blue and yellow and the way Vermeer has handled the natural light in his work. The beauty of the painting has led many generations of art enthusiasts and historians to discuss the photographic realism of the painting.
There are three antique dollhouses in the museum, and it includes the one that was the inspiration to the 2014 novel, the Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. These are from the seventeenth century and were expensive hobby for rich housewives. These houses were decorated with silver, glass, china, and textile furnishings that are made exactly to scale.
Only in Amsterdam can you find cyclists speeding through a museum. The passageway of the Rijksmuseum connects the two halves of the atrium. There are glass panels offering the passersby glimpses into the grand interior of the museum. The passage has excellent acoustics and so it is very popular among the local street musicians.
The Cuypers Library
This library is a booklover’s paradise. It has very old and extensive collection of art history texts in the Netherlands. Tourists can visit and browse the shelves or view the seemingly endless online collection on the iPads in the library.
Marten and Oopjen
Former director of Rijksmuseum, Wim Pijbes, describes these artworks as “the most wanted and least exhibited Rembrandts in the world”. The painting pair was purchased by France and the Netherlands in 2016. After restoration, the paintings will be seen moving between the Louvre museum in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.