Richard & Stacy's Round the World Trip 2001

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More pictures from the Rijksmuseum:

These are additional photos of The Nightwatch, Rembrandt's masterpiece. Apparently in the 1600s, Dutch nobles would run their own police force, paying for their own equipment and wandering the city at night. In a lot of ways, this was an old boys network, they went out drinking and partying most nights, showing off their new toys... a lot like boys today!

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The center of the Nightwatch shows the two senior members of the group in fine detail.   Close up of the child in the back of the photo.
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The shading of this dog in the lower right of the picture is incredible...   Beside the original is a copy of the Nightwatch made in minature.

Besides The Nightwatch, there are a large number of other amazing paintings in the museum:

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Jan Ambrahamsz Beerstraten 1622-1666
The Battle of Terheide, 10 August 1653, circa 1660

The Battle of Terheide - the English named it the battle of Scheveningen - was the last encounter between the Dutch and English in the First Anglo-Dutch War. The clash was intense, with heavy losses on both sides.
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Bartholomeus van der Helst 1613-1670
Princess Mary Stuart, Widow of Willem II, Prince of Orange, 1652
Jan Weenix 1642-1719
Still life with Rijksdorp near Wassenaar in the background, 1714

Delft is a town in the Netherlands, where the Chinese technique of making and colorizing porcelain was first brought to Europe. Delft china has the distinct blue coloring and was applied in many forms:

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One of the Delft display rooms showing many different kinds of Delft artwork.   Delft was even used to make scenic pictures, not just dishes and such!
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A tiled wallhanging made from Delft.   One of the most extraordinary examples of Delft - a violin! 

There were some amazing sculptures:

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Not sure who it is, but its a beautiful piece of marble...   These terracotta samples were prototypes for a sculpture on the side of the Amsterdam city hall.
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Another unknown bust, this of alabaster...   Not really a sculpture, but a beautiful cannon nonetheless... 

Beautiful furniture:

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An ancient wooden chest from the 1200s...   A circa 1700s wooden bed and wall panels...
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Gothic Oak Cupboard, circa 1525
Gothic furniture is rare, especially if, like this cupboard, it is not of ecclesiastical origin. The cupboard belonged to a militia guild in Alkmaar.
It was probably used for storing valuables like silver drinking horns and guild chains. It is decorated on all sides with Gothic carving. The lock between the doors on the front is hidden behind decoration. 
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An ebony bed frame with canopy...   An ebony cradle to go with the bed...
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To round out the ebony furniture collection, an ebony cupboard...   An amazing curved walnut dresser circa 1800s... 

Other exotic items:

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Silver plates and other service items. More silver goodies.
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Gold chalices - when you really want to spend a lot on a cup.   And glass items as art...
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Look, a chess set in a museum!   And backgammon! 

The Netherlands has a long history of interaction with China, and the Rijksmuseum has a fabulous collection of oriental artwork:

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This is a wooden table with gilded legs... The top of the table looks like a Persian rug, inlayed with mother of pearl, silver, etc...
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A pair of vases with bird cages around the center.   Chinese lacquer board, depicting a scene in China in the 1500s, including drawings of Europeans visiting.
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A wooden chest with beautiful inlay work.   This is what Delft china is based from - original Chinese porcelain.
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These are brass artifacts from 300BC...   And here's the most ancient thing in the museum, a cup from 1300BC - over 3,000 years old! 

Of all the items in the Rijksmuseum, the religious artifacts are my favorites:

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Amida, the Buddha of Western Paradise, circa 12th century Japan.   An oilphant, carved from an ivory tusk, used in religious ceremonies.
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A choir screen circa 1500.   A wooden prayer ball, depicting the crucifixion.
Click to see a larger version...   Miniature altars were carried by noblemen so that they might pray while traveling. They fold up for portability. The altar on the left is about six inches high, three inches across when folded. They are wrought of gold, jewels and other precious metals and stones. The craftsmanship is remarkable.
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Another miniature altar, this one even tinier than the previous one. The back of this miniature has a sliding panel on it with a faint engraving of Christ. According to the captions, the chamber behind this panel was thought to contain hair from Christ's head.
Click to see a larger version... Probably the most remarkable religious artifact in the Rijksmuseum is this reliquary.

Bust of St. Frederick
Silver and parcel gilt
Utrecht, 1362

This bust contained part of the skull of Bishop Frederick of Utrecht, who was murdered in 838. When the bishop's tomb was renovated in 1362, the silversmith Elias Swerpswert was commissioned to make a reliquary, a costly container for the saint's remains. He made use of the type in which the shape indicates the nature of the relic that is kept inside. On feast days the silver head was displayed on the high altar in the church. It was also carried in processions.

The flat plate underneath the figure bears a Latin text recording the date, the giving of the commission and the name of the maker of the reliquary: "In the Year of Our Lord 1362 the Dean and Chapter of St. Salivator's in Utrecht removed me from the tomb, which was renewed then, and had me made by Elias Swerpswert, the goldsmith.'

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Dalmatic Raimant and ceremonial staff of the beadle of Oud-Munsterker, Utrecht, 1518. Close up study of this garment shows stitching repairs, sweat stains - this was a piece of working clothing, five hundred years ago...

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