A child-centered visit to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, by a gifted art teacher

(graduated at Teacher training College + Art history degree)


Sophisticated, lucid and child-friendly Rijksmuseum tour

Kids tour by scholar-lecturer, art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach*


Would you like to enter the Rijksmuseum at exactly 9 AM, bypassing all waiting lines and encountering art in a virtually empty museum ? Ask me to be your guide!


Teacher Kaldenbach in the Mediaeval department, in a discussion about aquamaniles. What are these beasts for? A very practical use at a dinner table !

Teacher Kaldenbach in front of the Night Watch by Rembrandt , in a discussion about who is the boss? Mister white or mister black ?





Teacher Kaldenbach in the Gallery of Honour, in a discussion about The Swan. By painter Asselijn. What are these swans capable of when disturbed? ?


Going around in circles: A digital camera photographing another digital camera. Background: Night Watch by Rembrandt.



Another hit for kids, with a wow-fator: the impressive miniature model of the William Rex, a mighty Dutch man-o-war, with a length of 460 cm, and 410 cm high. Built 1697-98 for the Admiralty in Zeeland, just south of the province of Holland.

At that time the Dutch and English were reigned by William (yes the one of William and Mary). Their protestant Glorious Revolution of 1688 was an incredible feat of military operations, sly statecraft and orchestrated PR actions. After that point the English were capable of building sleeker, faster warships. Many more ship models exhibited in the Rijksmuseum basement.



Awed by fearsome Japanese Tample Guards, 14th Century.


The Swan by Asselijn. We will discuss the layers of meaning for kids: The swan. The landscape. The dog. The lettering on the painting turning it into a political cartoon. This painting was one of the earliest purchases by the Rijksmuseum. Photo by Yuichi Nara, 2013



On April 13, 2013 the refurbished Amsterdam Rijksmuseum has opened its doors to the general public and show a completely re-organized presentation. Paintings, objects and furniture will be mixed together to tell the great story of the Golden age of Dutch painting and culture. How a small nation became a superpower.

Fast track entry in ALL Amsterdam museums. Avoid spending time waiting in museum queues. Enter the museums together with me.

Also possible: a lecture for young people and adults, at my home, on Dutch art, including Vermeer.



July 2013: Ricardo N and his wife Francis S. live in New York City and are full-time NYC art aficianados, travelling the world and visiting most of the fine art centers in Europe.

In June-July 2013 they toured for three full days with Drs Kees Kaldenbach.

Ricardo: "I would rate you as terrific. It is a great treat being with you - You saved my life in showing me the Mauritshuis collection - I thought it was completely closed!"

Francis N.: "Kees is outstanding... he has a very rare gift among any the great number of professional tour guide we met in our lifetime... in presenting a deep and very specific art history knowledge, and in combining this with passion and and easy going presentation.
My husband and I have spent our lives in the art world of NYC and the West Coast. We have rarely met such a wonderful guide. Kees is an outstanding fountain of visual knowledge and historic insight. He truly is top class within the field of Western art history!"


Rijksmuseum tour. The glorious national collection.

Fast track entry in ALL Amsterdam museums. Avoid spending time waiting in museum queues. Enter the museums together with me.

Vermeer lectures and tours.

See Dali's opinion of Vermeer.

Rembrandt tours incl the Maria Trip portrait.

English article on key portrait of Uytenboogaard.

Dutch/NL text Uytenboogaerd, Dutch .

See all 330 Rembrandt paintings in full size reproductions, in about 2 hours in the Magna Plaza building behind the Royal Palace/Town Hall


Detail of the Wtenboogaerd portrait by Rembrandt, with the story of serious conflicts in faith, almost turning into a civil war in The Republic and the assasination of a soft-spoken political leader. Full story in Uytenboogaard.


A TV lecture in front of the Night watch. Drs kaldenbach has performed for many national TV networks.

Rembrandt walks. And Rembrandt lectures and museum visits. See how Rembrandt rapidly evolved from his age of 20, working in the style of his teacher Lastman to age 22, showing influence of Caravaggio and finally to age 24 in which he painted the majestic Jeremiah. See how he climbed the career ladder in ten years from 1632 to 1642 and then tumbled down, being pushed away by society. How he became an unfriendly, anti-social recluse and yet gave the world astounding psychological insights - in the characters he painted and etched: traders, family portraits, and in scenes from the bible and history books


Come see how intelligent and yet mysterious his paintings are painted and composed - and understand why Vermeer has now become the number one championed painter in Dutch art history. In museums around the world the sum total is only 36 Vermeer paintings. Vermeer lectures and tours. See Dali's opinion of Vermeer. Theses on Vermeer and Neuroscience / Opthalmology.


This is the elk's antler. A first class museum story about Charlemagne's son, a funerary chapel in Metz, the French revolution, the Russian revolution, Banker Mannheimer, the jewish art collector from 1920-1939, the Nazis and an unappreciated gift to the Rijksmuseum in 1952. Wow!




Woman modeling a silky Vermeer dress, with a print of Woman in Blue. See gift shop! Your tour guide by the entrance looking down on the services atrium.


Above: Lute player, by Judith Leyster, one of the few female painters, student of Frans Hals. Pretty good.

To the right: the famous poster child: portrait of Fat boy Bicker by Van der Helst. A great hit for children.








Complete Listing of tours


Bookings through my office.

Spotting the Rich & Famous inhabitants in the Golden Age.

Complete Listing of tours



Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands. The beauty of the city center is the result of many centuries of careful city planning. It boasts the most wonderfully preserved group of canals and ancient canal houses found anywhere in the world. In the center we find the headquarters of the United East India Company, pivot of international trade and source of great wealth in the 17th century. Dutch painter Rembrandt, prince of painters, and prolific etcher, draughtsman also made his home here and catered to the wealthy merchants.

A number of important museums including the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum are also located here. A dozen of other museums are well worth visiting, including the Rembrandt house.

On Dam square, from which this town on the Amstel river originally got its name, is the former Town Hall, now Royal Palace. Next to it stands the late mediaeval New Church, now mainly serving as an exhibition hall. A five-minute walk going east takes us to the large Old Church in the middle of the Red Light District.

As a reference manual I use a number of hand books, including the famous d’Ailly historical handbook during the Amsterdam walks.


As an art historian based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I can meet you in Amsterdam for a personalized guided tour of art museums and the historic center. Great Amsterdam tours!

Together we will experience the beauty and history. Enjoy yourself and learn about history while strolling and discussing the country's history, art and culture. In doing so, we may touch a number of bases - spanning not only fine art and architecture but also the city's history and current social issues. See client testimonials.

Read a biography.

Complete Listing of tours

Starting at your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural walking tour of your choice. My guided itinerary offers you accessable informative conversation in English, Dutch, or German (my French and Italian are more limited).

See Amsterdam in 1842 (Map with dots indicating where the high and mighty lived in Amsterdam, in the seventeenth century)


FB: Private Art Tours, Amsterdam + Holland

FB: Academica Translations, Amsterdam


You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. Our cultural tour organisation office will take care of a unique and memorable experience.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours" *.

*Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, p. 182.


Drs. Kaldenbach is chairman of the Circle of Academic Tour Guides of the Netherlands and Flanders (CATON)

Please contact me for time and fees of the tailor-made tour you ar interested in.

These tailor made tours are available upon request - please contact me to book a date. Minimum group size: 1 person. Maximum group size is limited to about 10 persons. With a megaphone I can also manage larger groups on the streets.



Complete Listing of tours


Photo by Dick Martin.

Visit a large architectural cultural site on Amsterdam at Startamsterdam.com

Old maps on http://watwaswaar.nl



The Rijksmuseum has done me the honor of linking the main Rijksmuseum site to my website. Start at www.rijksmuseum.nl and select Collection. Then choose 'Digital Collaboration' and the 'Digital Vermeer House'.

I conduct Rembrandt walks in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London and New York City offices. Their clients include important journalists.

The travel site www.luxurytraveler.com has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.

Read further client testimonials.


About Drs. Kees Kaldenbach:

Read a biography.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV and Radio Netherlands World Service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Delft artists by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Delft, on Vincent van Gogh and on other art history topics.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".

Further information is available on his encyclopedic web site: www.johannesvermeer.info

Research presented in November 2014 about Mannheimer: he almost bought the best Vermeer: The Art of Painting (now in Vienna)

Contact information:

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach , kalden@xs4all.nl

Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs

1058 JS Amsterdam

The Netherlands

telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)

cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)


Reaction, questions? Read client testimonials.

Open seven days a week.

Member of the VVV Tourist information and the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).


Email responses and bookings to art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.

This page forms part of the 2000+ item Vermeer web site at www.xs4all.nl/~kalden

Launched April 2013. Updated June 9, 2016. Updated 19 january, 2017.