Amsterdam Canals (04:37)
Leading up to the 17th century, the population of Amsterdam exploded, motivating city planners to create an extensive canal system. This encouraged community ideals as everyone built and maintained the canals.
Stock Exchange (04:11)
Amsterdam was a pioneer of global trade. Alastair Sooke explains how the Amsterdam Stock Exchange exemplifies commercial prowess along with an undercurrent of socialist ideals.
Residential Architecture (03:47)
As Amsterdam thrived in the 17th century, a wealthy middle class emerged and with it, new residences on the canals that exemplify commerce and community. Janina Ramirez examines the styles of gables and rooftops with decorations that display wealth. She views the period gardens of one building that exemplifies the classical style and individualism of the time.
"The Night Watch" is the superlative example of Rembrandt's use of light and dark. Sooke talks with a sociologist about Dutch paintings of ordinary people and domestic life.
Rachel Ruysch (03:05)
Ramirez presents a painting of flowers in the Rijksmuseum by a woman who was recognized as an accomplished painter by her male peers. Sooke introduces several Dutch culinary specialties at a cafe.
Rembrandt's Townhouse (02:39)
Sooke explores the home of Rembrandt. Curator David de Witt explains the elaborate method of printmaking that Rembrandt developed, and his study of emotional expression of the human face.
Jewish Texts (04:03)
Due to a tolerant culture, Jewish people thrived in Amsterdam for hundreds of years until WWII. A synagogue and library from the 17th century survived. Ramirez explores the open-minded collection of Ets Haim.
Modern Bookmaking (00:12)
Amsterdam has long been a center of book printing. Irma Bone, known as the queen of books, discusses perspectives on what defines a book and how to push those boundaries in a digital age.
Oude Kerk (06:12)
The Amsterdam parish church, built in 1306, signifies the birth of the city around a miracle and the Alteration. In 1578, a peaceful revolt against Catholic authority brought the Calvinists to power; this led to removal of stained glass windows and other alterations of the church. Ramirez discovers medieval misericords underneath the church seats.
Red Light District and Modern Art (05:52)
Ramirez discusses Amsterdam's red light district and tolerant policies with former prostitute Mariska Mayor, who commissioned a statue honoring sex workers. At the Stedelijk Museum, Sooke investigates the work of De Stijl painters and designers. The mural by Karel Appel reveals a flamboyant style in Amsterdam modern art.
North Bank Artists and Theater (04:44)
Ramirez and Sooke cross the IJ waterway to the North Bank, where they find more innovation and modern architecture. NDSM was a large trading wharf until it closed in 1984, becoming a haven for artists. Sooke visits a designer in his studio and then attends a burlesque show on a boat.
Credits: Amsterdam (00:33)
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