Amsterdam Celebrates 400th Anniversary & Museums

Amsterdam Celebrates 400th  Anniversary & Museums
The canal district of Amsterdam in the Netherlands celebrates 400 years in 2013. The Rijksmuseum has undergone ten years of renovation and restoration. I’ll discuss the major museums of Amsterdam.

Now named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Amsterdam’s canal belt is protected for its cultural heritage. Joining a year of celebration, the Rijksmuseum, a treasure trove of Dutch art from the Golden Age, reopens after an estimated US$ 489 upgrade.

The Rijksmuseum boasts to owning one million works of art, with 8,000 displayed at one time.
The artwork spans 800 years, from the Middle Ages to modern art.

One of the most significant paintings in the Rijksmuseum collection is Rembrandt van Rijn’s "The Night Watch" (1642), also known as "Officers and Other Militiamen from Amsterdam’s Second District, led by Captain Frans Banning Coq and Lieutenant Wilem van Ruytenburch."

The Rijksmuseum is also known for its four Johannes Vermeer paintings, now shown in the Gallery of Honor: "The Milkmaid" (1658-1660), "The Love Letter" (1669-1670), "The Little Street" (1657-1658), "The Woman in Blue Reading a Letter" (1663-1664).

Although I have not yet had the privilege to visit the Rijksmuseum, I believe I saw all four of these Vermeers at the 1990 exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

I remember being particularly impressed by the brushstrokes of the brickwork in "The Little Street." It is truly a gem of a painting.
Vermeer is the greatest "painter of light."

One museum that is celebrating a 100th anniversary is the Frans Hal Museum, in Haarlem, the Netherlands. This small museum, best known for Hal’s portraiture paintings, has been described as a "world class museum."

Frans Hal is probably best known for "The Laughing Cavalier" (1624), which is not housed in Haarlem, but at the Wallace Collection in London.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands houses the largest collection of paintings and prints by the Dutch post-Impressionist painter. Some of his best known works in the collection are: "The Bedroom" (1888), "Sunflowers" (1889), and "The Potato Eaters" (1885).

When visiting Amsterdam, it might be advisable to purchase a "I AMsterdam City Card" for free entry to museums, public transportation, a canal cruise, detailed city map, and other discounts and special offers.

To best enjoy the culture of the region and the people of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a city best seen by boat, foot and biking. Enjoy the trip!

You can own a giclee print of Rembrandt van Rijn's "The Night Watch."

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