Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum - Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum information and pictures

Amsterdam boasts many fine museums, with the jewels of the crown being the Rijksmuseum, the largest art museum in the Netherlands and the Vincent Van Gogh Museum, which holds the world’s most extensive Van Gogh collection. Both museums are located along the beautiful landscaped Museumplein, Amsterdam’s museum district.

The Museumplein is lined with terraces and shops, providing a respite from the heady experience of viewing priceless masterpieces and works of art. The main Rijksmuseum building is undergoing extensive renovations and is not expected to reopen its entire collection again until 2012. However, hundreds of 17th century masterpieces will continue to be on display in the Philips Wing.

The Rijksmuseum Collection - The Rijksmuseum is normally housed in a spectacular 19th century neo-Gothic building designed by famed architect, Petrus Cuypers, the designer of Amsterdam’s Central Station. The permanent museum collection features masterpieces from Dutch painters Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer. Among the more famous paintings by these Golden Age artists are: Vermeer’s, “The Milkmaid” and Rembrandt’s, “The Nightwatch.”

The 17th century masterpieces will be on display throughout the renovation in addition to the famous dolls’ houses and Delftware. The Dutch dolls’ houses were commissioned and collected by wealthy ladies of the time and decorated with precious porcelain miniatures and furniture pieces designed by artists.

The Collection of the Vincent Van Gogh Museum - The Vincent Van Gogh Museum is housed in a modern building designed by architect Gerrit Rietveld in 1973, with a new wing added in 1999, by Japanese “Metabolist Movement” architect Kisho Kurokawa. The collection of Dutch artist Van Gogh’s works is the largest in the world.

The permanent exhibit is divided into the five recognized periods of Van Gogh’s works: the Netherlands, Paris, Arles, Saint-Remy and Auvers-sur-Oise phases. The collection includes the “The Potato Eaters,” “Bedroom in Arles” and one of the “Sunflowers” paintings. The extensive collection of still lifes and self-portraits are particularly magnificent.

Works from Van Gogh’s contemporaries are also on exhibit, including several works from Monet, Gaugin and Emile Bernard. Every Friday evening the museum sponsors special exhibits featuring music and cocktails. Lectures on the works of Van Gogh are held on the first Sunday of the month.

A pleasant museum café looks out over the beautiful Museumplein and the gift shop features Van Gogh inspired items as well as home furnishings. A visit to the Vincent Van Gogh Museum will not disappoint.

Where is Rijksmuseum: Stadhouderskade 42

Where is Van Gogh Museum: Paulus Potterstraat 7

Visit the official web site of Van Gogh Museum


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