Although we arrived in Amsterdam on June 27th, and having been there on many prior occasions, we only strolled this terrific city on the last day of our trip. We decided to spend some time in the Rijks Museum, something we hadn’t done in the past when a visit meant a rushed viewing of the “Night Watch.” This time we were really going to spend some time with many of the outstanding pieces of art on display.
Let’s start with a photo as we approached. The building is a splendor on the outside as well as on the inside.
We decided to take a tram from the Banks Mansion to the Museum. We crossed this bridge as we made our way from the tram to the museum.
As with our day in Rotterdam, the threat of storms hung in the air. We made our way through the arches that form a corridor . . .
. . . to the Museum gardens. Despite the threatening weather, many were enjoying this relaxing place.
Into the bowels of the Museum to begin our journey.
The Rijks is an expansive facility and we were there for a couple of hours. While we saw a great deal as we passed through, we lingerin a couple of places. I took a few photos of the art to share with you. Let’s start with this vase and flowers.
How about a closer look? I love the brushwork and colors.
Then, there is this decorative plate, created around 1878 to 1885 which was inspired by the gold-ground mosaics the artist, Theodore Deck, saw in the Basilica of San Marco during a trip to Venice.
Van Gogh is an absolute favorite of mine. Here is a self portrait, a famous self portrait, created in 1887; it is painted on cardboard. Supposedly he did a self portrait to save the cost of a model.
Look at those eyes; penetrating and intense. I took a few liberties with this photo. Let me know what you think.
As we made our way we stumbled across a group of children intensely studying and working on a particular painting.
This is what they were studying. In this painting the swan is defending its nest against a dog. The swan is believed to be the Netherlands defending its country from its enemies and was the first painting acquired in 1880 to enter the National Kunstgalerij, the forerunner to the Rijks.
So, your might ask me, what’s going on with the Night Watch? The famous Rembrandt painting is undergoing restoration. Here’s what the Rijks has to say about the project.
“THE NIGHT WATCH: VISIBILITY TEMPORARILY REDUCED
Operation Night Watch offers a unique opportunity for visitors to follow the restoration of Rembrandt’s masterpiece live at the Rijksmuseum. We are currently studying the effects of vibrations on the canvas and how we can minimise any chance of movement in the canvas. These activities are temporarily reducing the visibility of The Night Watch. This work is an essential step in the restoration process, and we are unfortunately unable to avoid reducing visibility of the painting. This phase of the research project will continue until mid-September.
ABOUT OPERATION NIGHT WATCH
Operation Night Watch is the biggest and most wide-ranging research project ever conducted into Rembrandt’s masterpiece. The Rijksmuseum is carrying out this research in collaboration with experts from our partner AkzoNobel. The project’s aim is to conserve the painting for the future in the best way possible. The research began in summer 2019 and is continuing in full view of the visiting public in a specially designed glass chamber.”
And now photos.
Not everything in the Rijks is paintings. How about a piece of sculpture?
Remember the dramatic piece in Rotterdam entitled “The destroyed City”? The plaster model is in the Rijks.
No visit to Amsterdam is complete without photos like these.
Working our way back to our hotel, we came upon this statue which I really liked. Here are a few studies of it.
Amsterdam is an exciting and vibrant city to which I am sure we will return. Never say never.