The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands and is home to works from
the country’s most celebrated artists, including Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Piet Mondrian.
The museum reopens this weekend after a massive 10-year renovation and restoration. I was able to go through the museum a few days ago for a preview and shared some of what I saw on Instagram.
Spacious and bright, the glass atrium is the point of entry to the newly renovated Rijksmuseum.
Since the Rijksmuseum is basically a modern cathedral dedicated to art, why not have a vast hallway with vaulted ceilings and a wall of stained-glass windows featuring images of famous Dutch artists?
One of the artists found on the stained-glass windows is Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, a Dutch composer and organist, who was one of the first major keyboard composers of Europe. My street also happens to be named after him.
The Milkmaid, one of Vermeer‘s earlier works, hangs in the Gallery of Honor, alongside other world-famous masterpieces.
My eye was immediately drawn to this menacing looking piece of art. Shinkichi Tajiri created this while living in the US for a year in 1964 when the country was at war with Vietnam. It’s amazing that almost 50 years ago the American gun culture made such an impression on a foreigner, that he created this.
Piet Mondrian was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement which requires that a work in this genre can use “only primary colors and non-colors, only squares and rectangles, only straight and horizontal or vertical lines”.
Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, sits in the Gallery of Honor in the space Pierre Cuypers, the original architect of the museum, created for it in the 19th century, and is the only painting returned to its original position.