With temperatures in the mid-thirties, yesterday was a day not for walking but museums. Even the wind was hot and managed to make me feel warmer!

Ever since my first trip to Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum epitomises Amsterdam for me and, in particular, the Night Watch painting there. I remember buying lots of postcards and sticking some on my bedroom wall. I’m glad I didn’t try to visit during the ten-year renovation of the museum. The reopened museum manages to successfully combine old and new architectural styles. The interior is light, airy and welcoming. To help you get more out of your visit, there are cards explaining, and visually breaking down, the major paintings, which I found helpful.

Knowing little about art, I was intrigued to find that Rembrandt was painting pictures of men in black with bibs and pointy hats whilst Vermeer was painting an ordinary street in Amsterdam and a milkmaid! Vermeer’s paintings had a contemporary feel to me even though Rembrandt may have been the greater painter.

I also liked Toulouse-Lautrec’s sketches. He managed to capture people with just a few strokes. An amazing skill. He reminded me of an exhibition of works by Modigliani at the Tate earlier this year. He too captured personalities without being too elaborate.

It was partly my desire to be exposed to more art that I became a member of the Tate last year. Museums and galleries can be exhausting. So now I can pop in to see part of an exhibition then revisit another time. My membership allows me to take a guest to most paid exhibitions. So if anyone fancies seeing something, let me know. The only downside is that I’ll have to accompany you 😊

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