The Rijksmuseum is inviting its visitors to grab pencil and paper and take a different approach when exploring the collections and landmark. By drawing you see more prays the slogan of their new commercial. It encourages people to use what is the ultimate tool for learning, expression and invention. The campaign is framed in the worldwide event The Big Draw. Museums all over the world are offer special programs and events.

The pushy crowd that surrounds the masterpieces armed with phones and cameras are not explicitly mentioned. But that reality must have crossed by the minds of the museum direction. Drawing requires focus and attracts curiosity from others. It almost seems the draftsmen are a beacon of calm and peace that soothes the environment.

The no-so-subtle banner. Image © Rijksmuseum

The no-so-subtle banner. Image © Rijksmuseum

During a trip to the Venice Architecture Biennale I decided, at some point, to leave my camera in the hotel when exploring the historic city centre. It started as a -almost snob- need from to dissociate myself from the teeming mass of tourists -28 million last year-.

They accumulate on squares and bridges in order to make, yet another, picture of Venice with themselves as if the city would be the actual main subject. So, I spend my days in Venice in my own sketching bubble. It didn’t took me long to start perceiving its beauty without being bothered by the swarm besieging the city.


Currently, a growing crowd of remaining city residents are starting to protest against the cruise ships. Day by day these giant monsters dock for six hours and drop a humongous number of tourists to perceive their surroundings just through the screens of their devices.

Who knows if for the following The Big Draw they start sending cruise ships full with drawing aficionados. It would be a good counterbalance against the fleeting mass tourism that’s afflicting many historical sites. And so, we discover indeed that by drawing you see more.


PS: If you consider bringing your sketchbook to the Rijksmuseum, I recommend you to go to the top floor. The room is dedicated to the 20th century and has an awesome airplane on display which is a very nice subject for drawing.

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