Amsterdam has some grand museums and it’s been a while since I’ve been there, so I booked my ticket and hopped on a train. This post is all about my first day wandering around the city and visiting the Rijksmuseum.
Detail of Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, a 16th century painter
I challenged myself to stand in front of every work until I’d seen everything. This wasn’t my best idea. It’s (almost) impossible to do this in Rijksmuseum, their collection is huge. On the first floor alone I spend more than an hour walking around and looking at every single work. It took me four hours to walk through the whole museum. So if you plan on going there, make sure you plan a whole day (and have a good meal before your visit).
Another thing why my idea was almost impossible was museumfatigue. You know the feeling you get when you are walking around for a long time and feeling tired and don’t want to continue anymore? It hit me after the second floor. But I knew which kind of works are shown on the other floors, so I had to keep going. My curiosity beat the museumfatigue.
Maarten Van Heemskerck
The museum was packed with people, with no exaggerating. I walked into the first room, Every person that joined me in front of a work, walked off after a few seconds. I never saw the same person twice. I think that shows how fast some people walk past interesting pieces of art.
The only doable room was the Asian Pavilion. I don’t understand why this room wasn’t packed with people too. I read some very interesting things whilst walking around and looking at the sculptures.
Take the first photo below, It shows the Hindoo-goddess Durga killing the Buffalo Demon. The demon can take many shapes, it chose to appear as a buffalo. Durga beheaded the creature and as soon as she did, a new shape came out of the body. The second time it came in human form, she kills the demon again by using a trident.
I love stories like this, I would love to know more about Asian culture.
Detail of Durga, You see the buffalo’s head on the ground and the human is coming out of his body.
It felt like the first floors weren’t that interesting to most of the people. But once they hit the top floor they all got excited. People found Vermeer his Milkmaid, Rembrandt his Nightwatch, and so on. It’s a good thing that it’s the second time I visited this museum, so I already saw these (I can’t deny this) spectacular pieces of art. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing them upclose once again. I think the photos say enough about the amount of people that wandered around like ants.
Vincent Van Gogh
Rembrandt van Rijn
And this is how close I got to Vermeer his milkmaid. (The middle painting)
It was an experience, so many people walking around in Amsterdam. I can see why locals dislike the tourists. Rijksmuseum wasn’t any calmer, as I said many time before there were a lot of people. It felt like I was going to an amusement park. But still, I enjoyed my visit. Got to admire a lot of beautiful pieces.
If you want to go, make sure you go during the week (I suspect it’s less crowded) and book your ticket in advance. I did this and when I arrived I saw a very long waiting line for people who hadn’t purchased their ticket. They had to wait outside the building.