A selection of dark and haunting pieces from the Rijksmuseum archive


If you’re happen to be Dutch chances are small you haven’t heard of the big opening of the completely renewed Rijskmuseum this weekend. The Dutch press has been raving about the museum for weeks now, all leading to a grande opening by our queen tomorrow. For all of you who aren’t from The Netherlands: a small background story.

We Dutchies have quite a rich art history. Not to brag or anything, bit ever heard of Rembrandt? Vermeer? Or maybe Van Gogh? Exactly! We rock! Okay, I might have been bragging just a little there ;) Anyway, many famous pieces of Dutch artists can be found in one of our most important museums: the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Ten years ago it closed its doors for a complete renovation and revision, displaying their most famous pieces like Rembrandt’s ‘The Nightwatch’ in a temporary location. Tomorrow the completely renovated museum will finally open its doors to the public once again. To illustrate how hyped the Dutch are about the opening: the museum sold over 45.000 tickets in advance!

Now to get to the point: besides the world famous pieces of the Dutch Masters another great thing about our Rijksmuseum are the archives. There are thousands and thousands of great works of art that can’t be displayed since there’s just not enough room in the museum. Luckily the museum opened a great tool on their websites which gives you access to all the wonderful pieces and parts of Dutch history. And with all the wars, witch-hunts and diseases that history is quite a dark one… To celebrate the re-opening of the museum I dove into the fantastic online archive, and selected some macabre, dark and haunting pieces to share with you. I hope you liked my ravings about this museum, and of course the selection I made for you. Enjoy!



– Vrouw en de Dood, Jacob de Gheyn (II), 1600



– Vanitasstilleven in een nis, Wallerant Vaillant, 1658 – 1677



– Saul bij de heks van Endor, Simon Fokke, 1766



– Dood overwint het Geloof, Dirck Volckertsz Coornhert, 1532 – 1590



– Duivels worden door een engel met zijn volgelingen verjaagd, Jan Luyken, 1687



– Interieur met heksen, David Teniers (II), 1626 – 1740



– Triomf van de dood, Philips Galle, ca. 1565



– De griffier wordt door vier mannen verkleed als duivels aangevallen, Caspar Luyken, 1699



– Heks, Jan van de Velde (II), 1626



– Joachim von Carpzov beveelt de onthoofding van zijn vrouw, 1623, Jan Luyken, 1699



– Verbranding van een ketter in Mantes-la-Jolie, Caspar Luyken, 1700



– Urbain Grandier te Loudun levend verbrand wegens hekserij, 1634, Caspar Luyken, 1701



– Goede reis, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, 1797 – 1799



– Ketters worden publiekelijk gemarteld, Caspar Luyken, 1700



– Twistende kaartspelers en de Dood, Jan Lievens, 1638



– Drie dode vogels en vleermuis op deur gespijkerd, Félix Bracquemond, 1852



– De verzoeking van de heilige Antonius, Cornelis Bloemaert (II), ca. 1620 – ca. 1630



– Vanitas stilleven, Aelbert Jansz. van der Schoor, 1640 – 1672



– Heksen toveren tijdens heksensabbat, Hans Baldung Grien, 1510



– Ridder, Dood en Duivel, Albrecht Dürer, 1513



– Verbranding van een onschuldige vrouw, Jan Luyken, 1701



– Vanitas stilleven, Willem Steelink (II), 1888 – 1891



– Johan van Oldenbarnevelt op het schavot, 1619, Simon Fokke, 1747 – 1759



– Het zeemonster, Albrecht Dürer, 1496 – 1500


Thanks for reading! Have you ever been to the Rijksmuseum? And are you excited about visiting the completely renewed museum?

Source of all the images: Rijksmuseum website.


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