Saturday, July 25, 2015

The last day in Amsterdam is cold, wet and stormy.  What better day to spend several hours strolling through the Rijksmuseum?   

I was at the front of the line a little before 9 a.m. and inside in no time at all.  The building itself is a magnificent architectural example from the late 1800’s.  I wandered through level zero (known as first floor in the US) and came face-to-face with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and one of my favorite artists, Fra Angelico.  I took a few moments to sit in front of his Madonna of Humility   and admire the warm glow that his paintings cast.

Eventually I came to the renovated and restored great hall.  I was greeted by stunning large stained-glass window.  The hall eventually leads to Rembrandt’s famous Night Watch that is beyond Vermeer’s Milkmaid.

Occupational hazard:  I found the library in the museum, too!  What a magnificent, old-fashioned library. 

One of the many interesting displays I ran across was an exhibit of six whalers’ hats.  The plaque next to it explained that when whaling, sailors on deck were covered head to toe with their eyes barely visible to protect themselves form the cold.  The only way they could identify one another was by each other’s distinct head-ware.  

I finally reached the top level of the museum where the modern collection is housed.  The pieces here are a stark contrast to what lives on the floors below but beauty is beauty.