Ahead of the curve – The Rijksmuseum


I’m addicted to visual art of all kinds. On any given day I might be wandering the galleries, or surfing the web, or skimming an art book, or checking out the art on the street, from graffiti to carvers to painters and photographers.

One of my favorite museums in the whole world is the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, finally reopened after a ten year renovation. Why, you ask, did it take ten years? Because when it was built in the 1880s it was on the outskirts of the city and they basically built it over one of the main roads into the city. The original plan for the renovation was to change the location of the road but the outcry was tremendous and they had to renovate their renovation plans to include the road, which once again runs right through the museum.

The road, though, isn’t what I’m talking about when I’m talking about ahead of the curve, it’s basically a return to what used to be.

What I am talking about is this. The Rijksmuseum has decided that it will allow free downloads  of all of its art – now, that’s partly because much of its collection precedes the copyright laws, but I don’t see the Mona Lisa up for free download from the Louvre. The director of the museum, Taco Dibbits, sums it up when he says “If they want to have a Vermeer on their toilet paper, I’d rather have a very high-quality image of Vermeer on toilet paper than a very bad reproduction.”

So I’m delighted to show you some of my favorite paintings and images from the Rijksmuseum and I’m doing it legally!

The Jewish Bride detail

And if you’re interested in seeing what else you can download, here’s the link:


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