Mark your calendars (and passports) for this 223-year-old museum’s birthday

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View of the Rijksmuseum facade by night

November 19, On This Day

Rijksmuseum at the Museumplein in 2016

It was built over two centuries ago following the French example of The Louvre, and still stands in testament to the works of some of history’s most consummate artists.

The Rijksmuseum (or Dutch national museum) — the largest art museum in The Netherlands —was founded in The Hague on November 19, 1798, and moved to Amsterdam in 1808. Here, it was first located in the Royal Palace, then the Trippenhuis, and the current main building first opened in 1885.

The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.

It is situated quite close by to the Van Gogh Museum.

The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in the Asian pavilion. The Rijksmuseum in 2021 presented an exhibition on the history of slavery in the Dutch colonial Empire, with more than a million people forced into slavery.

The Night Watch (1642) by Rembrandt
The Milkmaid (c. 1657–58) by Johannes Vermeer
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s portrait (1680s) in the Rijksmuseum (1630-80)

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