With its collection of nearly one million objects, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is the largest museum of art and history in the Netherlands. Best known is the collection of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, with twenty works by Rembrandt as well as many other masterpieces, including paintings by Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. But the Rijksmuseum also houses rich collections of sculptures, arts and crafts items, drawings, graphics, photographs, Asian artefacts and objects illustrating the history of the Netherlands.
The most drastic renovation in the Rijksmuseum’s history was launched in 2004, a renovation that will not be completed until 2010. During this period, the exhibition Rijksmuseum, The Masterpieces is being held in the Philips Wing of the building, where four hundred seventeenth-century masterpieces remain on view for the public. Other portions of the Rijksmuseum Collection are currently on loan and are being exhibited in various museums throughout the Netherlands and in Belgium and Germany.