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Amsterdam Historical Museum to Present Old Master Paintings

February 18, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox


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From March 6 through August 9, the Amsterdam Historical Museum will present an exhibition of Amsterdam's Old Master paintings. With over a thousand works painted before 1800, the city of Amsterdam has one of the world's finest collections of Dutch Old Masters. It includes pieces by such artists as Rembrandt, Ferdinand Bol, Jacob van Ruisdael and Govert Flinck.

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors will be offered a glimpse of the original context and function of group portraits portraying civic guard officers and governors of charitable institutions. Portraits cover the walls in imaginary reconstructions of the great hall of a civic-guard headquarters, the governors' boardroom of the leper house and an office garden in 1900, transporting visitors back in time. Audiovisual presentations reveal the various routes these paintings took before eventually arriving on the museum's walls, like the incredible journey of Rembrandt's world-famous Night Watch.

Before 1800, wealthy Amsterdam citizens would often commission an artist to preserve their image for posterity on canvas or panel, while topographical pictures illustrated how the city of Amsterdam grew and changed over the years. In addition to commissioned portraits, gifts and legacies from Amsterdammers also helped build the robust collection. More recently, the Amsterdam Historical Museum has purchased some exceptional Old Masters, such as the recently acquired View of Amsterdam from Amsteldijk by Jacob van Ruisdael. A large number of relatively unknown works are also included in this exhibition, offering visitors an exclusive opportunity to admire some of these treasures from the museum storerooms.

The Amsterdam Historical Museum is located at Kalverstraat 92, Nieuwezijds, Voorburgwal 357.



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