Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Date
  • 16 December 1999

I visited the Rijksmuseum, where the 200th anniversary is underway with a major winter exhibition featuring a display of the largest-ever collection of Amsterdam gold and silver. I liked best the silver from the Empire (early 1800s) and Neoclassical periods. The earliest piece of silver, a drinking horn with silver adornments, dated from 1550. Hundreds of miniature silver pieces were on display too. Imagine children and young girls playing with expensive, replica houses filled with tiny real silver pieces. I also visited rooms with works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Rembrandt’s Night Watch receives much hype, but the painting, which looks like a snapshot of a militia action, is extraordinary and in my opinion – worth all the attention.