The King and Queen visit the Netherlands – day 2

The Royal Couples in front of Rembrandt's The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis. Photo: Patrick van Katwijk/Stella Pictures

The King and Queen's second day in the Netherlands began with a visit to the Rijksmuseumexternal link, opens in new window.

There, they were met by Museum Director Wim Pijbes and Curator Pieter Roelofs for a guided tour focusing on 17th century art and art with a link to Sweden and the Netherlands. The Dutch royal couple then joined them, and the two kings unveiled Rembrandt's painting The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilisexternal link, opens in new window, which is currently on loan to the Netherlands.

The painting is also part of a comprehensive research project in Amsterdam, involving advanced photographic analysis techniques to learn more about the work's history. In connection with the loan, the painting will be included in a retrospective Rembrandt exhibition: The Final Years at the Rijksmuseum, from 12 February to 17 May 2015.

The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis is an oil painting by Rembrandt, and was produced in 1661-62. It depicts the moment when the Batavians pledged an oath of allegiance against Rome, to the rebel leader Gaius Julius Civilis.

The work was painted by Rembrandt as a commission for the new town hall in Amsterdam. It is now owned by the Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, and has been held at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm since 1866. It is not known when and how the painting came to Sweden, but it was donated in 1798 to the Swedish Academy of Fine Arts by Anna Johanna Peill (née Grill). The painting has only been loaned out on two previous occasions, in 1925 and 1969, both times to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The Nationalmuseum is currently undergoing renovation, and the painting is now being loaned out for the third time. From 21 March, it will be part of a special exhibition in the Rijksmuseum's Gallery of Honour. The historic links with Holland make the painting a symbol of the celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of Swedish-Dutch relations in 2014.

The painting is also included in a comprehensive research project in Amsterdam, involving advanced photographic analysis techniques to learn more about the work's history. In connection with the loan, the painting will be included in a retrospective Rembrandt exhibition: The Final Years at the Rijksmuseum, from 12 February to 17 May 2015.

The book "The Swedes and the Dutch were made for each other" was then presented.

The book details the two nations' shared history and four centuries of friendship. The Swedish Embassy has initiated the publication, and Professor Emeritus Kristian Gerner was the editor. The book contains twenty essays on aspects from 400 years of history. Swedish and Dutch writers, diplomats, entrepreneurs and researchers have written about the two nations' long symbiosis, from the 17th century to the present day.

The Royal Couples then saw the agreement signed in 1614 which established that the two countries would exchange permanent ambassadors, making the Netherlands the first country in which Sweden set up an embassy. Today, the original agreement is held at the National Archives of the Netherlands.

Detail of the agreement signed in 1614. Photo: Patrick van Katwijk/Stella Pictures

Detail of the agreement signed in 1614. Photo: Patrick van Katwijk/Stella Pictures

The Swedish King and Queen then hosted lunch at the Netherlands Institute for Art History.

The final item on the day's agenda was a visit to Teylers Museumexternal link, opens in new window, the Netherlands' oldest museum, which opened in 1778. The museum's collections include a number of albums containing signed sketches by Italian renaissance and baroque artists (including Michelangelo and Raphael) which once belonged to Queen Kristina's art collections.