|Collage of holdings at the Rijksmuseum|
I’m not much of an art connoisseur but my sister N’ku was hell bent on seeing iconic Dutch paintings. She was rattling off names like Vermeer and “Night Watch” and I felt like I must have missed some part of vital education somewhere along the line. I mean since when do I not know something?
|Rembrandt van Rijn. The Night Watch. oil on canvas, 1642. Close-up of this 11×14 foot painting that is the altarpiece of the Rijksmuseum shows a barely there (eye/beret) self portrait.|
|Paul Gabriël. In the Month of July. oil on canvas, c.1889|
It was not too crowded inside either. They provide an iPod with audio tours for an additional €5, but you can actually download the app itself for free like I did! (Android; iDevice). It requires WiFi to work, freely provided within the museum, and is available in multiple languages. A very lovely and functional app indeed.
|Painting of Self-Sacrifice on the walls: a woman breastfeeds two babies simultaneously, and on her right is the Christian symbol of a pelican feeding blood
from its breast to its young.
It was a lovely collection of art housed in an amazingly grandiose building. There was also a bonus collection of Delft pottery and an Asian Pavilion. We basically spent all day there even though I followed the “90 minutes highlights guided tour”. These are my own highlights!
|Isaac Israel. Portrait of a Wounded Soldier. oil on hardboard, 1882. Named “Kees Pop” by the Dutch, he is one of many Ghanaian men from around Elmina taken to fight the rebellious Indonesians. Unlike others, he returned to Ghana.|
|Dirck van Delen. Iconoclasm in a Church. oil on panel, 1630. Protestants basically destroying altarpieces and saintly statues in Catholic churches during the Alteration.|
|Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem. The Fall of Man. oil on canvas, 1592. Close-up of these adorable animals.|
|Jan Willem Pieneman, The Battle of Waterloo, oil on canvas, 1824. Details of the largest painting in the Rijksmuseum|
|14th century Japanese Buddhist temple guardians Ungyō and Agyō|
I also spent far too long playing in the water fountain out in the gardens and simply forgot to explore the Henry Moore exhibition.
The following day, I went to the Van Gogh museum. I only spent a couple hours here learning about the fascinating yet sad life of Van Gogh. Talk about someone with a lack of self-confidence but also with perseverance. This museum was far more crowded for whatever reason.
|Collage of Van Gogh’s work with museum at the top|