Through the Rijksmuseum with a Pencil

October 16 2015 - 4:00 PM

On Saturday 24 October the Rijksmuseum launches its large-scale campaign #startdrawing. The Rijksmuseum invites everyone to go into the museum’s galleries to draw and learn how to look more rewardingly at the beauty of art. The campaign includes The Big Draw, an international drawing festival being staged in the Rijksmuseum on 24 and 25 October. The Rijksmuseum will provide free drawing activities on both days.


The #startdrawing campaign encourages visitors to discover as they draw

You See More When You Draw

In today’s world of mobile phones and media a visit to a museum is often a passive and superficial experience. Visitors are easily distracted and do not truly experience beauty, magic and wonder. This is why the Rijksmuseum wants to help visitors discover and appreciate the beauty of art and history through drawing – because you see more when you draw and get closer to the artists’ secrets. It is not about the end result but about enjoyment and deeper involvement.

As Wim Pijbes, general director of the Rijksmuseum, explains, ‘In our busy lives we don’t always realize how beautiful something can be. We forget how to look really closely. Drawing helps because you see more when you draw. People who want to draw are always welcome in the Rijksmuseum.’

The Big Draw

During The Big Draw visitors will be able to take part in a variety of drawing activities. On entry they will be given a free sketchbook and a pencil so they can get to work. They can work on their own initiative or perform tasks at drawing places throughout the museum – from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. For the whole weekend young and old alike can attend courses on drawing from models and seventeenth-century flower still lifes or take inspiration from a 3D street artist. Visitors can also work together on the longest drawing in the Rijksmuseum. Below the stained-glass windows in the Entrance Hall there is a long sheet of paper on which everyone may draw their own little piece of the Netherlands, resulting in a varied panorama of the country.

“Drawing helps because you see more when you draw. People who want to draw are always welcome in the Rijksmuseum.” Wim Pijbes, General Director Rijksmuseum

Banner and commercial

During The Big Draw the museum building will feature a large banner encouraging drawing and ‘banning’ photography. From 22 October the campaign will be supported by a new TV commercial – a 30-second film which invites people to come and draw in the Rijksmuseum. The film will be shown on STER, RTL and online.

Saturday is Drawing Day

And after the weekend, too, anyone who wants to draw in the Rijksmuseum will always be welcome. From now on every Saturday will be Drawing Day and visitors will be able to pick up a sketchbook at the Information Desk. During each season throughout the year there will be Drawing Tours and public drawing lessons alongside the regular programme in the Drawing School.

#startdrawing is made possible in part by main sponsor ING

For more information about the #startdrawing campaign and The Big Draw programme go to


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