Friday, May 13, 2011
This morning began with a trip to the Van Gogh Museum followed by the Reiksmuseum. To begin we got the Van Gogh miseum and looked at some of the work that supposedly inspired Van Gogh. It was intersting to learn about Vinny's early life. I guess I didn't really know much about the artist. For example, I didn't know that he had been a curator before becoming an artist.
I really enjoyed the paintings that used the pointellist style, using dots of different colors to add depth and light to the work. In particular I really enjoyed his painting "Wheatfield with a Reaper" I love all of the colors that are used to make the wheat move.
I also really enjoyed his work inspired by Japanese wood cuttings. The cherry blossoms and poppies are beautiful. It's rather tragic that Van Gohh killed himself especially when you imagine all of the work he could have done. I wonder where he would have gone with his art.
After the Van Gogh we walked down to Vondel Park and had lunch at a little cafe in the park. It was a perfect sunny day.
The Reiksmuseum is undergoing extensive renovation so they have kind of a best of show on display. This included a selection of Rembrandt's and Vemeer's. The work here was much more realistic and life-like. Rrmbrandt had a way of making the light emphasize the place on the canvas where he wanted you to focus your attention. It was pretty amazing and very different from the Van Gogh museum.
Our last museum of the day was the Amstelkring or, Church in the Attic. This is a secret church where the Cathics worshipped from the late 1600's to 1880's. During the early part of its use Catholicism was banned in the Protestant country. A wealthy business man bought three houses and converted the upper floors into a three tiered cathedral. While the house is currently undergoing renovation it was quite impressive, the church part of the house is quite a bit bigger than the living quarters. I wish I could see it once all of the renovations are complete.
After visiting the church we walked back to Dam square where tourists seemed to be flocking and then back to the Jordaan area to wander around!