At the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Virtually explore the Rijksmuseum with Smarthistory as your guide

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Rijksmuseum's website

Andries Beeckman, <em>The Castle of Batavia</em> and Dutch colonialism
Andries Beeckman, The Castle of Batavia and Dutch colonialism

Andries Beeckman's landscape painting with the so-called Castle of Batavia (in what is today Jakarta, Indonesia) highlights Dutch prowess and strength during their ascension to colonial power in the seventeenth century.

Inventing “America” for Europe: Theodore de Bry
Inventing “America” for Europe: Theodore de Bry

De Bry's images of the Americas affirm and assert a sense of European superiority.

Rembrandt, <em>The Jewish Bride</em>
Rembrandt, The Jewish Bride

With its almost sculptural surface and dazzling range of textures, this painting once reduced van Gogh to tears.

Willem Kalf, <em>Still Life with a Silver Ewer</em>
Willem Kalf, Still Life with a Silver Ewer

Kalf celebrates the fruits of life but reminds us of our mortality. The light—and his technique—are otherworldly.

Jan Steen, <em>Feast of St. Nicholas</em>
Jan Steen, Feast of St. Nicholas

Naughty or nice? With characteristic wit, Steen depicts the joys and disappointments of a festive morning.

Rembrandt, <em>The Night Watch</em>
Rembrandt, The Night Watch

As drums beat, a dog barks and a gun smokes. This lively, illuminated scene breaks the mold of group portraiture.