The Museum was founded in a thousand and eight hundred in the Haia, to expose the collections of statolders Dutch, as the French example. So, it was known as the National Gallery of Art. In 1808 the museum was transferred to Amsterdam by order of Louis Napoleon, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. The paintings of the property of the city, for example, the night round of Rembrandt, became part of the collection.
In 1863 it was opened a contest to design a new headquarters to the Rijksmuseum, but none of the proposals was deemed sufficiently of quality. Also Pierre Cuypers participated in the contest, getting the second place with your project. In 1876 was carried out a new competition, and this time Pierre Cuypers won. The project was a combination of elements gothic and Renaissance. The construction began on the first day of October 1876. in both the interior and exterior, the building was richly decorated with clear references to the history of art Dutch.