The Rijksmuseum is without question the country’s foremost art museum, with an extravagant collection of Dutch paintings, as well as a vast hoard of applied art and sculpture. Although much of the museum is closed for refurbishment until 2013, you can still see some of its world-renowned collection of Rembrandts – with The Night Watch and the exquisite Jewish Bride leading the way – but there’s much, much else. One undoubted highlight is the paintings of Johannes Vermeer (1632–75), most memorably The Love Letter, which reveals a tension between servant and mistress – the lute on the woman’s lap was a well-known sexual symbol – and The Kitchen Maid, an exquisitely observed domestic scene, right down to the nail, and its shadow, on the background wall. There are also paintings by Rembrandt’s pupils – Ferdinand Bol, Gerard Dou, Carel Fabritius and Gabriel Metsu; the carousing peasants of Jan Steen; the cool interiors of Gerard ter Borch and Pieter Saenredam; tonal river scenes by the Haarlem artist Salomon van Ruysdael; and several wonderful canvases by Frans Hals (1582–1666), most notably his expansive Marriage Portrait of Isaac Massa and Beatrix Laen.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Netherlands features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

5 reasons why Nijmegen might just be the Netherlands' summer capital

Nijmegen is a lively university city around an hour-and-a-half by train from Amsterdam. Beyond its famous Four Days Marches, it’s a fairly unassuming place a…

08 Aug 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

Photos: tulip season in the Netherlands is well under way and it's gorgeous

During a trip to Keukenhof in the Netherlands, travel photographer Nori Jemil captured Holland's tulip season through her lens and the results are beautiful. H…

25 Apr 2016 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

12 things to do in Amsterdam with kids

With its canals, narrow cobbled alleys and trams, the novelty value of Amsterdam can prove entertaining enough for many kids. There’s also a whole host of att…

30 Mar 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month