Which items in our online collection got the most visits and love in 2019? Was any painting or object viewed more times than our greatest and most loved painter in this Year of Rembrandt? Read on to find out!
1. The Milkmaid – Vermeer
Johannes Vermeer’s calm, understated milkmaid tops the list, so this time the master painter from Delft even wins out over Rembrandt. After a short stay in Tokyo, she returned to the Gallery of Honour earlier this year. We were delighted to have her back.
2. The Night Watch – Rembrandt
This year saw the start of Operation Night Watch, the biggest and most advanced research project ever on The Night Watch. Its goals is to conserve the painting for future generations, so everyone can carry on enjoying it – off-line too.
3. The Corpses of the De Witt Brothers – Jan de Baen
Is it because it appeared a couple of times in the BBC series Killing Eve, or are you all just fans of this gruesome image? Whatever the reason, this painting of a famous political double murder has made it to third place.
4. The Threatened Swan – Asselijn
This was the Rijksmuseum’s first-ever acquisition, and it’s still a huge favourite with the public. This feisty swan is protecting her eggs against the approaching dog. Did she poop because she’s scared, or is it part of her defence?
5. Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase – De Heem
In the height of summer or the depths of winter, these flowers are always in full bloom – this beautiful vase and flowers with insects on and around them have been radiating colour for more than 350 years.
6. Self-portrait – Van Gogh
Dreamy green eyes, a reddish beard, and superb loose brushwork. This list wouldn’t be complete with a work by the most popular Dutch master of the 19th century, and you visited in droves to see this self-portrait.
7. Dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman – Anonymous
True beauty is on the inside, so the saying goes. Well it certainly applies to this work! Petronella Oortman commissioned a French cabinetmaker to make this incredibly lifelike dolls’ house as beautiful as possible.
8. The Jewish Bride – Rembrandt
This couple has had a very busy year indeed. The painting was one of the highlights of two Rijksmuseum exhibitions – All the Rembrandts and Rembrandt-Velázquez – and between times it of course hung in our Gallery of Honour. The undiminished interest in this painting, online and off-line, proves love has lost none of its pulling power in 2019.
9. The Battle of Waterloo, Jan Willem Pieneman
This is the largest painting in the Rijksmuseum and the subject of the first in a series of videos giving a glimpse behind the scenes at the museum. The main question in the case of this huge canvas was how to go about cleaning it.