London Letter | Nushin Elahi:
Did you know Van Gogh was one of the first visitors to the newly opened Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, visiting the Rembrandts just before he moved to Paris? Or that the Nachtwacht was deliberately placed at the end of the gallery of honour in the altar position of a church?
Somehow the Rijksmuseum feels to me as if Rembrandt himself should have visited it, rather than Van Gogh, so it came as a surprise to realise just how recent this building is. The jewel in the crown of this Dutch collection has always been Rembrandt’s Night Watch, with the museum’s other treasures placed in bays leading up to it. Opened in its current building in 1885, the architect Pierre Cuypers echoed this design in another famous building, the railway Centraal Station, effectively creating city gates on opposite edges of Amsterdam… Read more
Image: Rijksmuseum – a city gate, with a huge poster announcing the arrival of Rembrandt’s double portrait