The Civic Guards Gallery (Schuttersgalerij) houses a collection of portraits of prominent Amsterdam people. It is located close to the quiet garden oasis of Begijnhof.
Most of the citizens immortalized in these painting belonged to the Civic Guard, hence the name given to the collection.
The Civic Guard was part of the upper Amsterdam social scene where patrons would meet to practice their shooting skills and organize and take part in charitable works.
Each year, the citizens involved in the Civic Guard would pay a high price to have their portraits painted. Only the wealthy could afford such a luxury and so developed this portrait collection of wealthy Amsterdam citizens.
Many of the famous artists from the 17th century were commissioned to paint these artworks, including Rembrandt.
Although the museum is not large (it really is only a long light filled passageway) it still gives an insight into Dutch high society of the 17th century.
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