The Rijksmuseum is a big place. It is famous enough to warrant a visit while you are in Amsterdam, but then again, it is big. If you do not have more than a couple of hours to spare, your private Rijksmuseum tour should definitely include the following exhibits.
The Second Floor
Go straight to the second floor to check out pieces by the Dutch masters. These are the masterpieces you will need a clear head to fully enjoy. “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt is his magnum opus, so do not miss it. They have displayed some interesting stories relating to its details and history.
Head to the Gallery of Honour, which is located to the south of this. Here, they have set up paintings done by Steen, Vermeer, Hals, and Rembrandt. Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid”, while relatively small, is very beautiful. It captures a silent, serene moment where subject is engrossed in her work.
After that, head past the toilets to the subsequent room on the right. Check out Rembrandt’s early paintings, which attest to his youthful brilliance. His self-portraits employed experimental techniques, such as paint scratching to enhance details such as curly hair. The following rooms contain mostly Dutch landscapes painted by Hendrick Avercamp, and others by Hugo de Groot.
The First Floor
Head downstairs and begin with Jan Willem Pieneman’s “The Battle of Waterloo”. It is impressive even among masterpieces, and will have you staring at it for some time. Sit down facing it and spend awhile admiring the details.
In the next room and to the right is the Cuypers Library. Not only is it part of the exhibition, but a place where researchers and visitors can leaf through most ancient art history books in the country. Just be careful around the tiny stairs, thin columns and old handles.
After leaving the library, head to the room showcasing Francisco Goya’s works. The next room has Romantic era paintings featuring detailed sea storms, breathtaking landscapes, etc. Skip the next four rooms and go to the one featuring “The Singel Bridge at the Paleisstraat in Amsterdam” by Breitner. It is interesting how much photography influenced 19th Century art. You will also get to see some Van Gogh pieces, although the best of his works are over at the Van Gogh Museum.