Rijksmuseum (Or: Finding more traces of libraries)

What warm summer’s day would not be complete without a trip to the Rijkmuseum? Featuring art from Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen and more, the museum also has an online component allowing you to see much of the work. For example, see The Masterpieces Special.

Banner on the outside of the Rijksmuseum, with sponsors (Phillips, ING) below

Although I visited during renovations, there was still a lot to take in, including The Night Watch by Rembrandt, which had the most crowds admiring its size – almost 12 feet by 14 feet. Interestingly, it used to be even larger, but it was cut down on all four sides to allow for its fitting between two columns. The staff were even passing out pamphlets which described the various items within the painting.

Although the Rijksmuseum also houses the well-known Het melkmeisje (The Milkmaid) by Vermeer, my favorite is actually housed within the Mauritshuis in The Hague: Het meisje met de parel (The Girl with a Pearl Earring). My work coffee cup is even a souvenir of it!

Renaissance and Baroque gardens of the Rijksmuseum (free beauty!)

With the current entrance of the Rijksmuseum near the Philips Wing, you will pass through the Rijksmuseum gardens – very pretty to behold. Have a seat at the stone bench above, and get your picture taken for a lasting memory. You’ll appreciate it later, trust me.

Everywhere you turn, there’s a library to be found. And that’s not such a bad thing.

I presume this used to be the entrance to the Rijksmuseum Research Library, which has since moved to a separate building. But more importantly, it’s a reminder of the lasting influence of libraries on society as a whole, even as we move into this digital age.

Categories: Amsterdam, Culture | Tags: | Leave a comment

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