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The Rijksmuseum, one of the largest museums in Europe dedicated to arts and history, made 250,000 works from its huge collection available for free online viewing or download.  During the golden age of sailing ships (roughly between 1584 and 1702), when Dutch ships dominated the trade routes of the world, the Netherlands became the first capitalist power in the west. The growing bourgeoisie class demanded a vast production of portraits and paintings, which enhanced trade, promoted the sciences and especially stimulated the arts. Few countries have such great quality artistic productions such as the Netherlands from that time. The Rijksmuseum collection of paintings includes works by the leading masters of the seventeenth century. Names like Jacob van Ruysdael, Frans Hals, Fra Angelico, Rembrandt, and Vermeer are part of the collection. Works such as "The Jewish Bride" (1665), "The Nightwatch" (1642), "From Staalmeesters" (1662) by Rembrandt; "The Milkmaid" (1660), by Johannes Vermeer; "Winter Landscape" (1608), by Hendrick Avercamp; "Portrait of Couple Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen" (1622), by Frans Hals; and "Portrait of Adolf in Catharina Croeser" (1655), by Jan Steen, are available for free download. View more View full description
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