Unilever expat outing to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam on 27th January 2015. By Jane Cresswell

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]What  a lovely day out we had on Tuesday with Irena, Paola, Susan, Ana Maria, Lucia, Lydia and Daniel and myself, and good weather too!.

We visited the Rijksmuseum in the morning. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough of Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Concertgebouw.  Some of us met before our tour around the museum so we had a coffee in the Concertgebouw, which was great as it is in a greenhouse like structure, attached to the side of the building where you can still appreciate the architecture while staying warm and dry. We wondered around the square where we did some window shopping and saw some nice fashion for future purchasing, and then we happened on a Free Admission to the Diamond factory wow.. This was a lovely treat we were still window shopping but definitely for later purchasing for some of us.. The sparkly diamonds were a nice way to while away an hour.

We met with our tour guide at the museum and were shown around the building. Having a tour guide is a great way of finding out so much more and she made it so informative.

“Only the position of The Night Watch, the “altarpiece” of the museum, according to Wim Pijbes, the museum’s director since 2008, has remained the same. Architects, Spanish practice Cruz and Ortiz, have attempted to return the ornate building – built in 1885 by Pierre Cuypers – back to some of its original splendour. Over the years, many of its elaborate frescoed walls and terrazzo floors had been painted over or removed, and galleries divided up into smaller, white-walled spaces. Now, heavily decorated floors and walls have been reinstated – “a whole new generation of craftspeople have been trained to do it,” said Taco Dibbits, the museum’s director of collections.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]What defeated the architects and the museum directorship was, in the end, a plan to block a cycle path that runs right through the museum, separating its east and west wings. The Fietsersbond (Dutch Cyclists’ Union) objected to the loss of the path – and won. According to Dibbits, “The bicycle is folkloric in the Netherlands. Touch the bicycle, and you touch freedom.”  Now, to access each end of the ground floor (site of the 18th- and 19th-century collections) visitors must either go via the below-sea-level basement – fruit of a hugely complex engineering project, where an airy new entrance hall, auditorium, cafe and shop have been created – or via the galleries above, which house matchless Rembrandts, Vermeers, Steens and De Hoochs.”

We were shown around the building admiring the new floors and layout, which have been completely refurbished from the marble floor to fresco ceilings. The highlights that we saw were Vemeer and Rembrandt. Showing us how the artists saw the sitters and how they use light and composition. Amazing..

I personally had a lovely day with my Unilever expat new friends, thank you very much and I hope to see you all again soon at the next event, especially as we move into the spring.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]We saw in the medieval exhibition:

The kitchen maid, Jan Vermeer, 1658 – 1660

Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-18 um 21.07.38[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Virgin as Mater Dolorosa (Our Lady of Sorrows),

attributed to Pietro Torrigiani, c. 1507 – c. 1510

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