The Complete Rijksmuseum–Favorites of An Art Historian: A Four-Part Course with Sabry Amroussi

The Complete Rijksmuseum–Favorites of An Art Historian: A Four-Part Course with Sabry Amroussi


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The Rijksmuseum is filled with wonderful treasures, but most visitors throng to the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, overlooking the marvelous artworks in other departments of the museum. From early Italian panels by Fra Angelico to more modern masters like Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondriaan, the Rijksmuseum is full of significant works of art. Drawing on years of experience working in and for the Rijksmuseum, Sabry Amroussi will guide us through all of the nooks and crannies of the institution where he was 'brought up.’

Here, in four lectures, Sabry will focus on his absolute favorites in the museum's collection. Rediscover familiar masterpieces, but also be surprised by artists and objects unknown to most visitors. We will travel through a thousand years of art history, meeting both familiar faces and making acquaintance with new ones, ending up with a splendid but still concise overview of this world-class collection.

Lecture 1: History of the Museum: Art From the Middle Ages to the 16th Century

Our first lecture will include a brief overview of the museum’s tumultuous history, leading up to its recent renovation. We will discuss many medieval masterpieces, Italian Renaissance art, and 16th-century art by the likes of van Leyden, van Scoren and Golzius.

Lecture 2: The Dutch Golden Age

Our second lecture will focus on the core of the museum's collection, art from the Dutch Golden Age. Besides some of the famous 'greatest hits,’ discover the artworks that Sabry considers his personal favorites. (nb: there is no overlap with Sabry’s Rijksmuseum seminars).

Lecture 3: 18th and 19th Century Art

Our third lecture will cover the eighteenth and nineteenth-century treasures of the collection. From the delightful pastels of Liotard to beautiful interiors of Canal houses, the Rijksmuseum has one of the most important collections of eighteenth-century art in the world. Also, discover the work of the Amsterdam and The Hague schools of painting, culminating in the works of Vincent van Gogh.

Lecture 4: Photography, Works on Paper, and Asian Art

Our fourth and final lecture will focus on the fragile and rarely exhibited photographs, drawings, and prints of the collection. The print room of the Rijksmuseum contains many, many treasures, including some of the finest works on paper in the world and amazing pictures by Dutch photographers. Often also overlooked is the museum’s world-class collection of Asian art. Kept in a separate building that we lovingly call 'the jewel box,' we will discuss some of the most moving works in the museum collection.

Sabry Amroussi is an art historian and writer living and working in Amsterdam. He specializes in the art of the Dutch Golden Age, mainly in the works of Rembrandt and his school, and also has a keen interest in the Jewish history of Amsterdam. He lectures and teaches on both subjects, and gives art historical tours all across Europe. As a true omnivore when it comes to art, culture, and even cuisine, he has worked with and for major museums and collectors, such as the LACMA, Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum and the P de Boer collection in Amsterdam. As a guide for Context, he is eager to share this knowledge in real life, always with a big scoop of humor, ofter intermingling art with social life, cuisine, and history.

How does it work?

This is a four-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

Is there a reading list in advance?

Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. You will receive this soon after course registration.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?

The course is $140 for four lectures.

Is a recording available?

Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording after the event.

This course is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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