Anyone looking to delve into Dutch art history whilst visiting the Netherlands should definitely check out the following museums. Each of these historical institutes has deep ties with a specific, highly acclaimed Dutch artist and offer fascinating glimpses into their lives and careers.
Rembrandt House Museum
Dutch Master painter Rembrandt van Rijn spent around fifteen years working and teaching inside this house on Jodenbreestratt in Amsterdam, before relocating elsewhere due to financial difficulties. His former residence was converted into a historical museum in the early twentieth century and currently features several permanent exhibitions that detail Rembrandt’s daily life. The museum also displays many original artworks by Rembrandt and often organises temporary exhibitions that revolve around the artist, his contemporaries or students.
Even though Gerrit Reitveld never lived inside this stunning house in Utrecht, he was responsible for its design and infused his creation with ideas drawn from de Stijl. The house is generally recognised as the only, complete example of de Stijl architecture and was placed onto UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1976 due to its cultural significance. The house was owned by the Schröder family until 1985 and has since been converted into a museum.
Although Vincent Van Gogh’s childhood home in Zundert was demolished at some point in the early twentieth century, the spot where he was born now features a biographical museum dedicated to his legacy. The museum’s exhibitions tend to focus on the artist’s formative years in the Dutch province of Brabant and highlight how his rural upbringing influenced his painting.
On March 7th, 1872 Piet Mondriaan (or Mondrian from 1906 onwards) was born inside this small, two-storey house in Amserfoort. The house lies inside Amersfoort historical city centre and has since been expanded in order to create space for a biographical museum. This charming, institute features a permanent exhibition about Mondrian’s life, artistic output and legacy as well as a to-scale replica of his Parisian studio.
In 1903 Dutch marine painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag and his wife Sina van Houten bequeathed their impressive art collection and mansion to the Netherlands. This generous donation lead to the founding of the Mesdag Collection which is still housed inside the couple’s former home in the Hague. This charming museum contains many artworks from the 19th century including many pieces by acclaimed European painters like Anton Mauve, Eugène Delacroix and Charles-François Daubigny.
Museum van Loon is located inside a stunning mansion on Amsterdam’s canal belt that was originally owned by Dutch Golden Age painter Ferdinand Bol. The house was eventually given to the wealthy van Loon family in the 19th century, who altered its interior but nonetheless maintained its grandiose design. The family decided to open their home to the public in the 1960s and allow people to enjoy their large collection of historic artwork.