Guanyin

anonymous, c. 1100 - c. 1200, figure, AK-MAK-84

The Buddhist deity Guanyin, who rescues people in need, is shown here meditating, seated on a rock. According to legend, he was once discovered in this position, meditating on the moon’s reflection in the water - in Buddhism a symbol of illusion and transience. His pose and facial expression embody…

Children of the Sea

Jozef Israëls, 1872, painting, SK-A-2382

This delightful scene contains a moral. These children from a poor fishing village with their shabby clothes and broken toys, are playing out their own future. The oldest boy carries the burden of his family on his shoulders, while the boat represents the harsh life at sea. Jozef Israëls first…

Self-portrait

Johan Gregor van der Schardt, c. 1573, bust, BK-2000-17

Cabinet of a militia company

anonymous, c. 1520 - c. 1530, furniture, BK-KOG-656

Blue Macaw

Meissener Porzellan Manufaktur, 1731, BK-17496

German scientists discovered the ingredients of Chinese porcelain in the 18th century. Elector August the Strong was such a fan of this hard, translucent white material that he filled his Japanese Palace in Dresden with porcelain objects. In the 1730s, he had a series of large birds and animals…

A Windmill on a Polder Waterway,…

Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriël, c. 1889, painting, SK-A-1505

‘Our country is colourful, juicy, fat. (...) I repeat, our country is not dull, not even in dull weather, the dunes are not dull either’, Constant Gabriël wrote in a letter. Unlike many artists of the Hague School, he preferred painting fine summer days. Here there are two: the grass, sky and…

Flower pyramid

De Metaale Pot (attributed to), after Lambertus van Eenhoorn, c. 1692 - c. 1700, BK-2004-4-A

In the 17th century, it was all the rage for the wealthy to decorate their homes with fragrant bouquets of flowers in ornamental vases. Special vases were designed for cut flowers. Potters in Delft developed an obelisk model using a pile of successive water basins. These two flower vases are…

Flower pyramid

De Metaale Pot (attributed to), after Lambertus van Eenhoorn, c. 1692 - c. 1700, BK-2004-4-B

In the 17th century, it was all the rage for the wealthy to decorate their homes with fragrant bouquets of flowers in ornamental vases. Special vases were designed for cut flowers. Potters in Delft developed an obelisk model using a pile of successive water basins. These two flower vases are…

Two temple guardians

anonymous, c. 1300 - c. 1400, AK-RAK-2007-1-A

Mantelpiece with relief of Paris…

Jan Baptist Xavery, 1739, BK-1995-3

This chimneypiece was made for the main hall of the house at Rapenburg 48 in Leiden, where Baron Diederik van Leyden lived. Xavery also designed a marble relief for over the doors, and a decorative sculpture for the ceiling. This included a large painting by Jacob de Wit. Tapestries from Brussels…