Virtually explore the Rijksmuseum with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
Link to the Rijksmuseum's website
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
De Bry's images of the Americas affirm and assert a sense of European superiority.
Rembrandt, The Jewish Bride
With its almost sculptural surface and dazzling range of textures, this painting once reduced van Gogh to tears.
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, Feast of St. Nicholas
Naughty or nice? With characteristic wit, Steen depicts the joys and disappointments of a festive morning.
Rembrandt, The Night Watch
As drums beat, a dog barks and a gun smokes. This lively, illuminated scene breaks the mold of group portraiture.