Rijksmuseum is celebrating the 200th anniversary now. It is one of the largest and most popular among the various Dutch museums. Like all the other national museums in Netherlands, this building has also weathered the fortunes of fate to emerge into a new millennium of glory.
The museum was originally named the National Art Gallery and was housed in the Den Haag. Currently, Rijksmuseum is located at the Museum Square in South Amsterdam and features exhibits and artifacts that are dedicated to art and art lovers. The new museum houses about two hundred paintings.
Rijksmuseum was founded in 1800 and the original location of the museum was in The Hague. It was relocated to Amsterdam and was housed in the Royal Palace before it was moved to the Trippenhuis. The current building of the museum was designed by architect Pierre Cuypers and was inaugurated in 1885. Cuypers also created the Central Station of Amsterdam, which is why the Central Station and Rijksmuseum share the Neo-Gothic style of construction.
The Collections in Rijksmuseum
The museum has more than 8,000 objects on display and these artifacts dates back to as far as 1200. The collection includes masterpieces by Golden Age painter of Holland like Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Frans Hals. Famous paintings like Portrait of a Young Couple (Frans Hals), the Night Watch (Rembrandt), and The Milkmaid (Johannes Vermeer) are the main attractions of Rijksmuseum.
There is also an Asian pavilion that features a small collection of Asian artworks. The stern of the HMS Royal Charles is also displayed here. This ship was captured in the Raid on the Medway. The museum also displays antique furnishings, ceramics, sculptures, fashion, photographs, weapons and drawings. Tourists can also see the Hartog plate during their visit to Rijksmuseum.
The First Painting
The first purchase by the new museum building was the Threatened Swan by Jan Asselijn and the painting was purchased for NLG 9500 at an auction. After eight years, the museum moved to the upper rooms of the Royal Palace in Dam Square.
The name of the museum was changed to Rijksmuseum or State Museum in 1815. The external building of the museum with gardens and archway is in itself worthy of a visit during your Amsterdam tours.