Nowadays, Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, is a city well-known in all Europe, thanks to its great charm, due to the global architecture of the city and the inhabitants' conception of life. The town, which has been a famous trade center for four centuries, was built around a lot of canals, which surround and delimit districts, which each have some particularities. From the Dam, the Ann Frank Huis, Nieuwekerk, to the Rembrandtplein, visitors can discover a remarkable charming city, which has succeeded to associate the respect of historic heritage with modern aspirations. In the 13th century, the town called "Aemstelledame" developed around a dam on the Amstel River and later, in 1613, three large canals were built there. Now, there are 24 km of canals and 700 bridges in the city, which is sometimes called the Northern Venice. Besides, it was during the 17th century, called the Golden Age, that Amsterdam knew a great prosperity: the large mansions in front of canals and most of the artistic masterpieces date from this period.
[...] Rembrandt came to Amsterdam because the city was open to the artists, and he started to execute paintings for rich owners who wanted to decorate their mansions. But Rembrandt's genius wasn't recognized, his experiences on light-dark were perhaps too early, and his dead was wretched, so that he was buried in a common grave. Today, the house he lived in has been transformed in a museum. *The Nightwatch is a portrayal of a militia company, composed by 18 people, whose names are given in the background. [...]
[...] II the Rijksmuseum, a national pride *The masterpieces present in this museum, which is also the National Museum, date from the 17th century, called the Golden Age in the Netherlands' history because of the situation of power and prosperity of Amsterdam at this time. Indeed, the country was among the wealthiest, thanks to a maritime trade which was very developed; thus, some rich merchants built large mansions, and ask to talented artist to decorate their interior with paintings or objects. [...]
[...] Amsterdam as the centre of world trade, by Pieter Isaacsz *It is a personification of the city of Amsterdam, by a wealthy woman sited on her throne, surveying her ships and the sea god Neptune; in the background, the whole world is pictured, demonstrating that Amsterdam's power extends on all continents. *Actually, of all the towns of the Republic, Amsterdam profited the most from trade. In the 17th century, the city expanded rapidly and the burgomaster (the major) had even a majestic new town hall built, on the main square. [...]
[...] The doll's houses are family homes in miniature that presents a complete picture of life in a fashionable Amsterdam household. Moreover, paintings were popular in the Golden Age. They could be found in every home, in ruling elite's houses, in the middle class' houses or in country folk's ones. There were painters who were specialized only in portraits; other concentrated on depicting everyday scenes (like Vermeer) or specialized in still lifes (=natures mortes). Besides, Rembrandt is without doubt the most celebrated painter of [...]
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