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A Detailed Look at the Asian Rijksmuseum Art Pieces! 

The Rijksmuseum attracts over 2 million visitors yearly, with its huge and vibrant art collection, as it is the National Museum of Amsterdam.

The museum brings the history and culture of Asia to the doors of the Netherlands with its large Asian art collection of around 8,000 pieces!

Visitors planning to explore the Rijksmuseum must visit this section, with its beautiful sculptures, paperwork, and interior decor.

Read further to find out more about the Asian Art section and discover the best pieces to see! 

About the Asian Rijksmuseum Art

About the Asian Rijksmuseum Art
Image: Bruno Coelho (Canva)

Asia is the largest continent in the world, and Asians are known for their unique artistic talents in many different mediums.

The Rijksmuseum tries to showcase these talents to the world by putting on display pieces from 50 countries in Asia!

It is the only museum in the Netherlands that displays art from Asia.

It mainly focuses on pieces taken from China, Japan, India, Vietnam, and Thailand, some of Asia’s most prosperous countries with famous art history.

Most Rijksmuseum art pieces displayed in this section are hand-made by local artists, giving a first-hand account of their lives.

The items found in this section on display include:

  • Lacquered  boxes
  • Jewelry
  • Sculptures
  • Paintings and prints
  • Holy temple items
  • Tea bowls, with other small utensils, and much more!

You can also see some other items specifically made to export to European countries from Asia.

The Asian Art Pavillion at Rijksmuseum 

The Asian Art Pavillion at Rijksmuseum 
Image: Adriaan de Lelie from Europeana CCO Images (Canva)

The Asian Art Pavillion is where all of the artwork under the Asian art section is displayed. The Pavilion also holds temporary exhibitions.

It stands beside the picnic area at Rijksmuseum, and you can find the entrance to the pavilion between the 0.5 Italian Renaissance room and 0.6 room. 

The Pavillion has water on all sides, and the walls are of Portuguese sandstone and glass, with diagonal walls setting a unique perspective for all artworks.

The Asian Art Pavilion holds new exhibitions every six months, the most recent being zen art paintings, red and brown Yixing stoneware, and copperplate engravings. 

The art displayed in the Pavillion is from the period between 2000 BC and 2000 AD. 

Tickets for the Asian Art Section at Rijksmuseum 

Rijksmuseum tickets are only available online hence, ensure you purchase these in advance.

The standard entry ticket to Rijksmuseum gives you access to all the permanent exhibitions, including the Asian Art section, for €24 for adults from 18 to 99 years.

Children 18 years and below can enter the museum for free! 

History buffs and art enthusiasts will highly appreciate the guided tour ticket of the Rijksmuseum, as they will learn so much more about the history behind the Asian Art section and the other sections. 

Asian Sculptures

Asian Sculptures
Image: Goddard_Photography from Getty Images Signature(Canva)

The Asian Sculptures in the Asian Art section is one of the biggest collections and has artworks made from bronze, silver, stone, and wood.

Some of the most fabulous sculptures in the section are:

  • Goddess Guan Yin statue, from 12th-century China
  • Two wooden temple Guard statues from 14th-century Japan
  • Silver statuettes of Shiva and Paravati from 9th and 10th-century Java
  • Japanese Buddha Statue, from the 12th century
  • And the heavenly beauty statue from India

It also has a statue of the head of Buddha from Java, which has a superstition of bringing bad luck attached, attracting many tourists. 

The most beautiful and finely carved statue in the collection is the bronze statue of Shiva Nataraja from the 12th century.

The God in the statue has four arms and is standing within a huge fire flame, making it look majestic and capturing your attention from across the room! 

Works on Paper in the Asian Rijksmuseum Art section

Having around 2700 Japanese prints, 23 Chinese prints, and 400 Indian miniature painted screens, the Rijksmuseum has a stunning collection of art on paper from Asia.

These artworks date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and are most famous for their composition!

Most Japanese prints are from sketchbooks and travel albums, and the museum has a print of Mount Fuji, created by the famous artist Hokusai. 

The surimono Japanese art prints, which have a mix of poetry and art on a single page, make up a huge part of this collection and are an extremely unique art form.

You can also find several nature prints in this collection, the best one being the print of a white egret standing on one leg in the rain.

The Rijksmuseum also has a collection of scroll paintings and painted screens of India, which allow you to explore the culture with pictures of Maharajas, elephant fights, and the fun court life. 

Asian Interiors 

Asian Interiors 
Images: Cornelis van Dalem from Europeana CCO images (Canva)

The Asian Art collection also has everyday items used by people from Asia, giving you a deeper understanding of their traditions and lifestyle.

Asian interiors include ceramic, bronze, and porcelain objects from the collection of kings or priests and some articles that had religious significance.

The most beautiful object in this collection is a lacquer container, shaped like a crane. 

The Chinese have also contributed to the interior collection, with over 2000 pieces of porcelain and ceramics and a famous bowl glazed with hare fur. 

You can also see Chinese Ivory Puzzle Balls in this collection, which have a unique design with intricate carvings. In addition, check out – 

  • The Japanese made strong raku bowls, part of their traditional tea ceremonies.
  • The beautiful glass and enamel bowls from Lucknow in India.

Best Artworks in the Asian Art section at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 

All the art pieces in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum Asian Art collection are fantastic, but here are some of the most beautiful and significant pieces from the huge collection. 

1. Japanese Temple Guardian Sculptures

The Asian Pavilion has two Japanese Temple Guardian statues, usually found in the temples.

They stand at the doors to ward off evil spirits from entering the temple gates.

One of the statues has an open mouth, and the other has a closed mouth.

These are syllables a and un in the Sanskrit language, representing the first and final syllable.

These symbols contain all knowledge, symbolizing all spoken words and written scripts.

According to an old legend, when you pass by these statues when entering the temple, all knowledge from the world is given to you. 

2. Crane-shaped Lacquer Container

This is a popular Japanese lacquer container shaped like a graceful crane sitting down.

The lining inside the container has a mother-of-pearl glaze, which keeps it shiny.

The crane is significant in Japanese culture and represents long life, loyalty, and honor. 

3. Shiva Nataraja Statue

The God Shiva takes on different forms, and the Nataraja statue showcases him in the Nataraja form, also known as the King of Dancers form.

Shiva stands in the ananda tandava pose, and behind his body is a huge halo of fire, as it is the creator and destroyer of the world.

Such statues of Gods and Goddesses are carried around on festive days in India, allowing visitors to experience a similar joy when watching this statue.

4. Clear Weather with Southerly Wind Print by Hokusai

One of the most famous Japanese prints is the fine wind, clear morning print, also known as the red Mt. Fuji, created by famous artist Katsushika Hokusai. 

It represents the red hue caused by the rising sun in the early morning hours when no human presence is around the mountain.

The image also captures what people believe to be spiritual scenery.

The blue sky, with paper-made cloud patterns and the green base, completes the entire picture.  

5. Indian Jewelry 

The Asian art collection also has beautiful Indian jewelry worn during special occasions, especially weddings.

A pair of earrings, two hair ornaments, and hand jewelry with rings are on display at the Rijksmuseum exhibition.

The hair ornaments hang from the middle of the forehead, hanging from the hair, with a pearl necklace, which attaches them to the ear of the person.

The jewelry belongs to a matching set with pink and green gemstones all over. 

Tips to Remember when Visiting the Asian Art Section at Rijksmuseum

Here are some tips to remember when visiting the Asian Art section in Rijksmuseum:

  • Rijksmuseum tickets are only available online. There are no ticket counters at the museum. So, book your Rijksmuseum tickets in advance online.
  • Research about the different movements that happened in Asia and about the culture. This will help you make better connections to everyday life with the objects on display. 
  • If traveling with a big group, especially with children, you should take the guided tour for a more informative experience.
  • You can take photos and videos at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. 
  • Check the official website in advance for any special lectures or presentations in the Asian Art exhibition.
  • If you plan to explore the entire museum, you should begin your visit from the Gallery of Honour. It allows you to see the most famous paintings in the museum before the crowd arrives.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, like sneakers or sandals so you can explore the museum at your own pace. 

FAQs on Asian Rijksmuseum Art 

1. What is the Asiatic Art in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam?

The Asiatic Art section has a huge display of sculptures, interior decorations, paper scrolls, prints, and more. Most of the art in the Pavillion is from Japan, India, China, and Indonesia. 

2. What type of art is in the Rijksmuseum?

The Rijksmuseum collection has many pieces of art from different countries and centuries. Most of the museum is filled with Dutch art from the 16th century. You can also see sculptures, paintings, fashion, jewelry, model ships, weapons, and much more! 

3. What is the price of tickets to the Asian Rijksmuseum Art section?

The standard entry ticket to Rijksmuseum is €24, and children 18 years and below are allowed free admission. This ticket gives you access to the whole museum, including the Asian Pavillion. 

4. What is the most famous work at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam? 

The most famous painting at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn. It is in the Gallery of Honour. 

5. Which is the most famous art piece in the Asian Art section at Rijksmuseum?

The most famous pieces of art in the Asian Pavillion at Rijksmuseum are the two Japanese Temple Guardian statues. 

6. Can I take photos in the Asian Art Pavillion at Rijksmuseum?

Photography is allowed in all rooms at the Rijksmuseum. 

7. When is the Asian Rijksmuseum Art section least crowded?

The Rijksmuseum Asian Art section is the least crowded before 11 pm and after 3.30 pm. The museum timings are from 9 am to 5 pm. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the least crowded days. 

8. Are temporary exhibitions organized in the Asian Pavillion at Rijksmuseum?

Yes, there are temporary exhibitions organized at the Asian Pavillion. They change every six months. You can see these exhibitions with the standard entry ticket. 

Featured Image: Bruno Coelho (Canva)

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