The Rijksmuseum first opened its doors in 1800 as a National Art Gallery. It was then located in the Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. The collection consisted mainly of paintings and historical objects. In 1808 the museum moved to the new capital Amsterdam, where it was located in the Paleis op de Dam. After King William I took office, the paintings with the national print collection ended up in the Trippenhuis on the Kloveniersburgwal and the other objects returned to The Hague. The current building was opened in 1885. This also included the Netherlands Museum for History and Art, located in The Hague, which would form the basis for the later departments of Dutch History and Sculpture & Applied Arts.
On November 19, 1798, more than three years after the founding of the Batavian Republic, the government decided, at the suggestion of Isaac Gogel, to establish a national museum after the French example. This initially included the remains of the stadtholder’s collections, together with all kinds of objects that came from state institutions. The National Art Gallery opened its doors for the first time on May 31, 1800. At that time there were more than 200 paintings and historical objects on display. Together with the first director, C.S. Roos, Gogel made numerous purchases in the following years. The first purchase, De Zwaan by Jan Asselijn, was bought for 100 guilders and is still considered one of the highlights of the Rijksmuseum.