We are neither visiting museums, nor jetting off to Amsterdam, but luckily, we can now do both from the comfort of our own living rooms. The riveting Rijksmuseum has opened its virtual doors, with a whole host of online offerings.
The Netherlands national museum is a paradise of classical Dutch art, boasting over 6,000 paintings, with all the big names right under one roof. You’ve got Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid (who apparently is suggested to be a right minx), and Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride (which also portrays a steamy scene). Well, we are in Amsterdam after all. But beloved of all, is Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, which is much less saucy, depicting a Dutch military group on a canvas as big as your bedroom wall, at 14 x 11 foot.
These, the other 5,997 paintings, and numerous other sculptures and artefacts, can be explored via the museum’s Masterpieces Up Close virtual walkthrough tour, which is free to enjoy and offers short audio guides to each piece. Once you’ve finished your virtual visit, you can also check out the museum’s series of three to five minute videos which unpack the secrets and stories of the works of art, in their Rijksmuseum Unlocked.
The online event was listed on both the Guardian and Time Out as one of the best virtual events of lockdown, with Time Out’s Hew Oliver saying, “you’ll probably come away much more knowledgeable than if you went to see it IRL.”