Amsterdam has all kinds of museums – I expect that you could do nothing but museums for day after day. Heck – the Rijksmuseum alone has 8000 artifacts – practically a lifetime of looking just there.
We decided that we needed to be selective so our brains would not over fill and decided on the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum, both of which have recently been extensively renovated and recently re-opened.
The Rijksmuseum is a celebration of all things Dutch. It is full of a wonderful selection of paintings, ceramics, furniture, and sculpture, not to mention the astonishing building itself. One huge draw are the Rembrants, the highlight of which is probably his ‘Nightwatch’. As is so often the case the sheer size of it is surprising. Being familiar with a painting from a book does not prepare you for the impact of the size of the actual painting. The opposite is also true – some of the paintings are surprisingly small.
One thing about a museum of this stature – there is never an off day, a day of peace and quiet. There are always swarms of people clustering about, taking pictures of the pictures. So we didn’t really take any pictures in the museum. Well one. Of a boat. A pretty big boat. On a table.
Perfectly to scale, perfectly detailed.
We did stop in the museum cafe for some fortification:
Classy cafe, with sculptures and everything!
In the afternoon we visited the Van Gogh museum. It is really beautifully done and ranges both widely and deeply through Van Gogh’s life. We learned a lot about him, the artists that he knew and admired, how he worked, the materials he worked with. It was really very well done. And the, of course, there were the paintings. If you really want good pictures of his painting the web is full of really good ones. But here are two that we particularly liked: