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27-February-2015

Spanish Masters in Amsterdam

The ‘Spanish Masters from the Hermitage. The world of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya’ exhibition can be admired in the Hermitage until 29 May. This exhibition draws attention to the broader context of painting in the Spanish Golden Century (second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth century) and the echoes and continuation in subsequent centuries.

Spanish masterpieces were created during the reign of Philip II, the absolute monarch of a colonial empire who enforced strict rules for Catholic paintings. The period that followed was dominated by artists including Francisco de Zurbáran, also known as the Spanish Caravaggio.

A great many aspects of Spanish history are highlighted in this collection, such as the horrors of Napoleon’s conquest in 1808, bullfighting and Mediterranean pub life. The variation of the exhibition is also expressed in the alternation of Spanish painting styles: Baroque, Rococo, dramatic realism and spiritual minimalism.

The National Maritime Museum

hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl

Forget Rembrandt and Van Gogh for a minute, the biggest Dutch heroes are of course the seafaring champions that dominated the world. From the muddy banks of this little town they sailed every sea, discovered dozens of trade routes, decimated Spanish fleets and defeated English royals. It’s an adventurous story and it’s brought to life in an amazing way in the newly renovated National Maritime Museum.

The museum was once build as ‘‘s Lands Zeemagazijn’ in 1656 as the Arsenal for the Admiralty. The Admiralty supplied the naval fleet from the arsenal, with weapons, ammunition, rope, sails and compasses.

You'll find both amazing works of art and child friendly exhibits in this museum, making it one of the best spots for a family outing in Amsterdam.

The museum has a lot of beautiful interactive exhibits.

Tip

Arrive in style and take one of the canal boats to the museum. Or buy a boat ticket at the museum and finish your visit with a canal cruise.