Lidded ewer

Adam van Vianen (I), 1614, BK-1976-75

On display in room 2.1

Banquet at the Crossbowmen’s Guild…

Bartholomeus van der Helst, 1648, painting, SK-C-2

Civic guards were the city’s militia. They were volunteers. In Amsterdam, each district had its own company with its own headquarters. In the 17th century, larger and grander buildings were built. Group portraits of the members lined the walls. In 1648, Van der Helst immortalised this Amsterdam…

On display in room 2.8

The Art Gallery of Jan…

Adriaan de Lelie, 1794 - 1795, painting, SK-A-4100

In 1792, Gildemeester, a merchant, turned two large rooms at his house on Amsterdam’s Herengracht into an art gallery. Here he stands proudly at the centre of the front room, speaking with one of his guests. Visitors are examining famous paintings, including a Rembrandt - above Gildemeester’s head.…

On display in room 1.10

Portrait of Andries de Graeff

Artus Quellinus (I), 1661, bust, BK-18305

The De Graeffs were one of the leading merchant families of Amsterdam and highly influential. Like his father and brother, Andries was also a burgomaster. The superb bust was carved by Quellinus, who had been brought from Antwerp to Amsterdam to create sculptures for the new town hall. The plinth…

On display in room 2.18

The Night Watch

Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642, painting, SK-C-5

Rembrandt’s largest, most famous canvas was made for the Arquebusiers guild hall. This was one of several halls of Amsterdam’s civic guard, the city’s militia and police. Rembrandt was the first to paint figures in a group portrait actually doing something. The captain, dressed in black, is…

On display in Nightwatch gallery

The Sampling Officials of the…

Rembrandt van Rijn, 1662, painting, SK-C-6

Samplers checked the quality of dyed cloth. Here Rembrandt shows them at work, distracted for a moment and looking up. One syndic is about to sit, or stand, so not all the heads are at the same level. A clever trick which, with the confident brushwork and subtle use of light, make this one of the…

On display in Philips wing, room 1.3

Wine fountain and cooler

Alger Mensma (attributed to), 1731, BK-1963-65

This urn and cooler for washing hands and glasses, formed the decorative centrepiece on a luxurious sideboard. Both were presented to Cornelis Schrijver in recognition of his heroism at sea. That is the symbolism of the reliefs of heraldic arms, fish, shells and sea deities.

On display in room 1.1

FK 23 Bantam

Frits Koolhoven, 1918, NG-2011-1

The F.K. 23 Bantam was developed in 1917 by Dutch aviation pioneer Frederick Koolhoven, then working as chief designer at British Aerial Transport Company. The biplane was intended as a fighter for the nascent Royal Air Force in the First World War. This craft was shown in 1919 at the First Aviation…

On display in room 3.2

Vouwwaaier met blad van papier…

anonymous, c. 1765 - c. 1780, BK-1978-315-A

Funeral Shield of the Cobblers’…

Johannes Grill, 1643, BK-AM-18-C

On display in room 0.7