What makes the Rijksmuseum one of the world’s most famous museums is the fame of the masterpieces in our collection. Sit back and enjoy the revealing stories behind the best of the best. Or stop the stories for a moment and zoom in on the smallest details.

Do you like these Stories?

Would you like to help us tell more stories like this? Every contribution is welcome.

Do you like these Stories?

Would you like to help us tell more stories like this? Every contribution is welcome.

Isaac and Rebecca, Known as ‘The Jewish Bride’ Isaac and Rebecca, Known as ‘The Jewish Bride’

1:07 min. - One of the most famous embraces in the art of painting

Self-portrait Self-portrait

1:00 min. - The 22-year-old Rembrandt seen here did not shy away from experimenting

Portrait of a Woman, Possibly Maria Trip Portrait of a Woman, Possibly Maria Trip

1:15 min. Rembrandt rendered her costly jewellery masterfully

The Night Watch The Night Watch

1:31 min. - Why is the Night Watch actually so famous?

Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul

1:01 min. - Look at the thick paint in Rembrandt’s turban

Musical Company Musical Company

1:17 min - Adoration of the Lord or a brothel scene?

The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild, Known as ‘The Syndics’ The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild, Known as ‘The Syndics’

1:02 min. - How did Rembrandt create the dynamics in this group portrait?

Marten&Oopjen Marten&Oopjen

1:26 min. - Purchased by France and the Netherlands for 80 million euros apiece

Man in Oriental Clothing Man in Oriental Clothing

1:05 min. - Not a portrait, but a tronie

Johannes Wtenbogaert Johannes Wtenbogaert

1:14 min. - Portrait of a devout man

The Milkmaid The Milkmaid

1:20 min. - The milk seems to be streaming from the pitcher. How did Vermeer do this?

View of Houses in Delft, Known as ‘The Little Street’ View of Houses in Delft, Known as ‘The Little Street’

1:25 min. - So much affection and precision for an ordinary street

Woman Reading a Letter Woman Reading a Letter

1:23 min. - Notice the many shades of blue that Vermeer used

The Love Letter The Love Letter

1:00 min. - What makes this letter a love letter?

Still Life with Cheese Still Life with Cheese

1:21 min. - What deeper meaning did the cheese have?

Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen

1:21 min. - What is there to smile about here?

The Threatened Swan The Threatened Swan

1:07 min. - What’s going on with this swan?

The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede

1:11 min. - Do you see the miller on the balcony?

Adolf and Catharina Croeser, Known as ‘The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter’ Adolf and Catharina Croeser, Known as ‘The Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter’

1:10 min. - What three genres do you see in this work?

A Militiaman Holding a Berkemeyer, Known as the ‘Merry Drinker’ A Militiaman Holding a Berkemeyer, Known as the ‘Merry Drinker’

1:17 min. - Take a look at the quick and short brushstrokes

The Feast of St Nicholas The Feast of St Nicholas

1:14 min. - How did Jan Steen instil such vivacity in this festivity?

River Landscape with Riders River Landscape with Riders

0:52 min. - See how wonderfully well the horses are painted

Still Life with a Gilt Cup Still Life with a Gilt Cup

1:13 min. - Just look at these masterful reflections and refined composition

The Merry Family The Merry Family

1:35 min. - A family gathering that has gotten out of hand.

Portrait of a Girl Dressed in Blue Portrait of a Girl Dressed in Blue

1:17 min. - So what makes this such a popular painting?

View of Haarlem from the Northwest, with the Bleaching Fields in the Foreground View of Haarlem from the Northwest, with the Bleaching Fields in the Foreground

1:26 min. - Go zigzagging through the envitons of Haarlem

Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene

1:16 min. - Learn more about this lady in sumptuous clothing

The Holy Kinship The Holy Kinship

1:33 min. - Feast your eyes on this work full of colourful details

Worship of the Golden Calf Worship of the Golden Calf

1:17 min. - A warning against idolatry and immoral behaviour

The Seven Works of Mercy The Seven Works of Mercy

1:17 min. - See how you can help those in need

Self-portrait Self-portrait

1:14 min. - A self-portrait in 3D. Try it yourself sometime.

Portrait of Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen (c. 1472/77-1528/33) Portrait of Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen (c. 1472/77-1528/33)

1:16 min. - Does his gaze put us on the wrong track?

Portrait of William I, Prince of Orange Portrait of William I, Prince of Orange

1:18 min. - Father of the Dutch nation. Fighter or diplomat?

The Well-stocked Kitchen, with Jesus in het House of Martha and Mary in the Background The Well-stocked Kitchen, with Jesus in het House of Martha and Mary in the Background

1:14 min. - Find out the moral of this story

The Massacre of the Innocents The Massacre of the Innocents

1:33 min. Who commissions such a gruesome work? And why?

Madonna of Humility Madonna of Humility

1:26 min. - Masterpiece from Florence made by a painter-monk

Portraits of Giuliano and Francesco Giamberti da Sangallo Portraits of Giuliano and Francesco Giamberti da Sangallo

1:18 min. - A Florentine architect and his recently deceased father

The Meeting of Joachim and Anna The Meeting of Joachim and Anna

1:13 min. - This timeless embrace will stay with you

Table ornament Table ornament

1:09 min. - Made with an astounding and ‘deadly‘ technique

Cabinet of a Militia Company Cabinet of a Militia Company

1:12 min. - Discover the lock of this ‘chest on legs’

The Merry Fiddler The Merry Fiddler

1:18 min. - Cheers! See how lifelike this fiddler is

The Fête champêtre The Fête champêtre

1:13 min. - Very merry party, but with a moral

Portrait of Gerard Andriesz Bicker Portrait of Gerard Andriesz Bicker

1:02 min. - Striking pink tones and fashionable clothes

Fishing for Souls Fishing for Souls

1:09 min. - The painter clearly took sides in this political allegory

Floral Still Life Floral Still Life

1:13 min. - Take a closer look at the flaming parrot tulips

Militia Company of District VIII under the Command of Captain Roelof Bicker Militia Company of District VIII under the Command of Captain Roelof Bicker

1:09 min. - Notice how Van der Helst created depth

Banquet at the Crossbowmen’s Guild in Celebration of the Treaty of Münster Banquet at the Crossbowmen’s Guild in Celebration of the Treaty of Münster

1:26 min. - Big party! There is real cause to celebrate

Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters

1:11 min. - Take a closer look at these 200 figures having fun on the ice

View of Olinda, Brazil View of Olinda, Brazil

1:05 min. - Anteaters, sloths, monkeys and one very large beetle

Girl in a Large Hat Girl in a Large Hat

1:09 min. - A summertime maiden with an enticing gesture

Interior of the Sint-Odulphuskerk in Assendelft Interior of the Sint-Odulphuskerk in Assendelft

1:15 min. - Zoom in on the architectural details

Militia Company of District XI under the Command of Captain Reynier Reael, Known as ‘The Meagre Company’ Militia Company of District XI under the Command of Captain Reynier Reael, Known as ‘The Meagre Company’

0:55 min. - Made by two painters. Do you see any difference?

Cupboard Cupboard

1:12 min. - Made by the specialist in ebony work and Rembrandt’s friend

Book chest of Hugo de Groot Book chest of Hugo de Groot

1:25 min. - How long was Hugo de Groot hidden in this chest?

Lidded ewer Lidded ewer

1:26 min. - Discover the auricular style full of surprises

Clock and gunpowder horn Clock and gunpowder horn

1:12 min. - A suspenseful exploit in extreme cold

Roemer with a poem to Constantijn Huygens Roemer with a poem to Constantijn Huygens

1:24 min. - The maker of this glass had a writer’s block

A Pelican and other Birds near a Pool, Known as ‘The Floating Feather’ A Pelican and other Birds near a Pool, Known as ‘The Floating Feather’

1:15 min. - Look at the magnificent feathers by the 17th-century bird painter

Still Life with Asparagus Still Life with Asparagus

1:10 min. - In the spotlight with no frills

View of the Golden Bend in the Herengracht View of the Golden Bend in the Herengracht

1:21 min. - Herengracht under construction, with some still vacant lots

Dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman Dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman

1:26 min. - Take a look around in this deluxe doll’s house

The Battle of Terheide The Battle of Terheide

1:00 min. - Experience Maarten Tromp’s last naval battle

Flower pyramid Flower pyramid

1:13 min. - A short fashion

Gallant Conversation, Known as ‘The Paternal Admonition’ Gallant Conversation, Known as ‘The Paternal Admonition’

1:11 min. - An ambiguous scene with exquisite fabrics

A Mother Delousing her Child’s Hair, Known as ‘A Mother’s Duty’ A Mother Delousing her Child’s Hair, Known as ‘A Mother’s Duty’

1:13 min. - Zoom in on the ‘through-views’ and many gradations of light

The Sick Child The Sick Child

1:10 min. - An ashen face. Did this child have the plague?

Italian Landscape with a Draughtsman Italian Landscape with a Draughtsman

1:13 min. - Lose yourself in this large painting aglow in evening light

Portrait of Michiel de Ruyter Portrait of Michiel de Ruyter

1:15 min. - His eyes are closed. Why?

Portrait of Andries de Graeff Portrait of Andries de Graeff

1:16 min. - An impressive classic bust with a contemporary twist

Twee toiletkoffers Twee toiletkoffers

1:07 min. - Decorated from top to bottom with rich marquetry, or inlaid work

Model of the William Rex Model of the William Rex

1:14 min. - Boarding by force! How did this fighting machine attack?

Chest with nine bottles Chest with nine bottles

1:15 min. - The contents of these bottle cabinets were precious

Layette Cupboard Layette Cupboard

0:57 min. - Zoom in on this deluxe baby linen cupboard

Portrait of William III (1650-1702), Prince of Orange, Stadholder and from 1689 on, King of England Portrait of William III (1650-1702), Prince of Orange, Stadholder and from 1689 on, King of England

1:25 min. - Prince of Orange, King of England and Stadtholder

Blue Macaw Blue Macaw

1:23 min. - How was this first European porcelain made?

Seated Cupid Seated Cupid

1:17 min. - A beloved statue with a famous owner

The First Day of School The First Day of School

1:23 min. - Experience the first day of school in Istanbul

A Dutch Merchant, Possibly Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest A Dutch Merchant, Possibly Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest

1:19 min. - The Chinese sculptor Chitqua specialized in such souvenirs

Desk Desk

1:22 min. - Take a closer look at the spectacular inlay, the marquetry

 The Art Gallery of Jan Gildemeester Jansz  The Art Gallery of Jan Gildemeester Jansz

1:19 min. - Take a closer look at this collection of famous pictures

Portrait of a Member of the Van der Mersch Family Portrait of a Member of the Van der Mersch Family

1:12 min. - Learn more about this engaging portrait of an art lover

Mantelpiece with relief of Paris and Oenone Mantelpiece with relief of Paris and Oenone

1:20 min. - Glorification of the simple country life in marble

Wine fountain and cooler Wine fountain and cooler

1:23 min. - A silver fountain for pouring wine

Haarlem reception room 1794 Haarlem reception room 1794

1:11 min. - Step into this room full of symmetry

Stadtholder’s chair Stadtholder’s chair

1:21 min. - A mighty, empty chair

Bust of William IV Bust of William IV

1:15 min. - The first Stadtholder of all the provinces

Portrait of Alida Christina Assink Portrait of Alida Christina Assink

1:20 min. - See what was considered ‘sexy’ in this portrait

Italian Landscape with Umbrella Pines Italian Landscape with Umbrella Pines

1:18 min. - Check out the precision and lighting effect of these graceful umbrella pines

Piano Practice Interrupted Piano Practice Interrupted

1:11 min. - A playful work with a clever composition

A Windmill on a Polder Waterway, Known as ‘In the Month of July’ A Windmill on a Polder Waterway, Known as ‘In the Month of July’

1:10 min. - Above all look at the sky and water

Girl in a White Kimono Girl in a White Kimono

1:15 min. - Zoom in on the gleaming white silk embroidered kimono

Children of the Sea Children of the Sea

1:22 min. - This charming scene contains a serious message

Portrait of William I, King of the Netherlands Portrait of William I, King of the Netherlands

1:17 min. - King of the Netherlands

The Singel Bridge at the Paleisstraat in Amsterdam The Singel Bridge at the Paleisstraat in Amsterdam

1:05 min. - A famous impressionistic and ‘photographic’ work by Breitner

Self-portrait Self-portrait

1:15 min. - Van Gogh painted this colourful self-portrait in Paris

The Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo

1:16 min. - How was Napoleon defeated in this famous battle?

Portrait of Don Ramón Satué Portrait of Don Ramón Satué

1:18 min. - Discover the power of simplicity in this work

Toilet mirror Toilet mirror

1:10 min. - Princess Marianne’s heavy mirror

Diorama of a Du, Dance Celebration on the Plantation Diorama of a Du, Dance Celebration on the Plantation

1:21 min. - The enslaved people express criticism through role-playing

Silver cabinet Silver cabinet

1:14 min. - This silver cabinet won the silver medal for good reason

Vase Vase

1:25 min. - A vase full of experiments

Vase with lily decoration Vase with lily decoration

1:24 min. - Renowned ultra thin porcelain

FK 23 Bantam FK 23 Bantam

1:28 min. - Learn more about this ultra-fast fighter plane

Armchair for Til Brugman Armchair for Til Brugman

1:14 min. - An icon of modern design

Eight Stacked Beams Eight Stacked Beams

1:11 min. - An interplay of equilibrium and gravity

Guanyin Guanyin

1:23 min. - Masterful woodcarving, with small strips of gold leaf

AK-RAK-2007-1 AK-RAK-2007-1

1:07 min. - Don’t mess with these guys

Shiva Nataraja Shiva Nataraja

1:20 min. - The longer you look the more everything comes alive

The bodhisattva Manjushri The bodhisattva Manjushri

1:23 min. - Learn more about this serene statue