What are the four most famous paintings in the western world?

  1. Mona Lisa
  2. The Last Supper
  3. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
  4. Night Watch

Rembrandt van Rijn’s Nachtwacht, as it is said in Dutch, has returned to its home at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The museum has been closed for ten years for major renovations, and it will be officially opened on April 13 by Queen Beatrix. The renovation cost 375 million euros, 100 million euros OVER budget. The early reviews for the museum are fantastic and they are not just for the art work, but for the building as well.

Night Watch was completed in 1642 at the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. It was removed in 1939 from the Rijksmuseum as there was justified fear that the Germans would steal it. The painting was taken out of its frame, the canvas was rolled into a cylinder and it was stored in a castle, north of Amsterdam. After the war, it was restored and returned to the museum.

Last week, the final painting was hung in the soon to be open museum. Vermeer’s The Milkmaid is now back in the Rijksmuseum. By the way, Night Watch is the only painting to be hanging in its original location. As much as people are excited to see over one million pieces of art, they are also eager to see how the museum has changed. They expect over two million visitors a year. Do you need any more reasons to visit this wonderful city?

If any of you were wondering about the name Rembrandt, as I was, it is not that common a name here in The Netherlands. However, there is a boy on our son’s hockey team whose first name is Rembrandt. He does not have a nickname or a shorter name, just Rembrandt. Imagine hearing his name being called out on an athletic field. Our son tells us that he is the only Rembrandt he knows.

The photo is of dairy products that all have an artistic flavor to them in honor of Dutch artists.

Milk Carton Dutch

Recommended viewing: just giving you a little British mystery scoop. Season 8 of FOYLE’S WAR has just started airing in the UK. I have loved this series for years, but now the war is over and things are different. It takes place in London, Foyle is retired and he has been asked to work for the government as they face the “Russian problem”. There is a new mystery series called BROADCHURCH that has become a big hit in the UK. It is almost over and my lips will be sealed when the murderer is revealed, so don’t ask me anything! This series is just so good and so much fun. It is about a small coastal town and how a murder affects its residents. David Tennant stars as the lead detective.

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  • Marty Flint  On April 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I believe Rembrandt was Flemish, wasn’t he?

  • janeduttonutrecht  On April 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    no, he was Dutch. He was born in Leiden and you can visit the Rembrandt house in Amsterdam!

  • teelee2013  On April 11, 2013 at 1:59 am

    I would love to be able to see the renovated Museum and all the wonderful art on display!! Please keep us posted about the opening!! We have become so hooked on a few TV shows from the UK. I mentioned these two to my husband, and he said “no more, no more”!! All we do is watch TV! Great post!!

  • Carol B.  On April 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I would love to see the paintings and other artwork. I hope you share your visit when the museum opens. Sounds exciting.

  • Aledys Ver  On April 12, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I can’t wait to visit the museum, but I guess I’ll wait for a while… I saw this morning on tv that a group of kids from grade 8 were invited and they showed a bit on the news – impressive!
    Imagine having Rembradt for a name! Wow!!!
    THat new series Broadchurch – I suppse it’s also shown on independent tv?

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