We all found it impressive when Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum put up 125,000 Dutch works of art online. “Users can explore the entire collection, which is handily sorted by artist, subject, style and even by events in Dutch history,” explained Kate Rix in our first post announcing it. ” “Not only can users create their own online galleries from selected works in the museum’s collection, they can download Rijksmuseum artwork for free to decorate new products.”
But we posted that almost two and a half years ago, and you can hardly call the Rijksmuseum an institution that sits idly by while time passes, or indeed does anything at all by half measures: think of their creation of Rembrandt’s Facebook timeline, their commissioning of late Rembrandt canvases brought to life, or of their accommodation of terminally ill patients visiting one last time. And so they’ve kept hard at work adding to their digital archive, which, as of this writing, offers nearly 273,000 works of art. This brings them within shouting distance of having doubled the collection in size since we first wrote about it.
You want the Dutch Masters? You got ’em. You want Rembrandt’s Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul? It’s in the archive, right alongside Night Watch. You want Vermeer’s View of Houses in Delft, better known as The Little Street? It’s in there too. But don’t stop now; the Rijksmuseum has put up a much greater breadth of Dutch art than that. You’ll also find important Dutch painters you may not have heard so much about before, such as the impressionist George Hendrik Breitner, whose Girl in a White Kimono appears just above. And it even includes high-resolution images of works of art and design in other media, such as Michel de Klerk’s 1918 suite of furniture for ‘t Woonhuys, whose armchair you see below. Looks almost good enough to sit in, doesn’t it? You can enter the collection here, or search the collection here.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture as well as the video series The City in Cinema and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.