Sunday, 3 November 2013

A View from Abroad Continued

    Behind the scenes in the museums:        Amsterdam : Part Two..

                            the modern Van Gogh Museum just round the corner from my hotel

After a good walk around the little narrow streets and districts of the central canal ring, I  devoted a whole day to visit some museums. My bike ride two years ago was themed on art and artists, so I was relishing the prospect of taking a look at the Van Gogh Musuem and the Rijksmuseum, which holds Rembrandt's  The Night Watch painting.

                              the airy and modern interior of the Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh's 'boy reaping'
                                                    Van Gogh's sketch book
After seeing Anne Frank's original diary in the museum, it was also moving to see Van Gogh's personal sketchbook which he took with him wherever he went.
                                                   resting in the museum
Van Goghs tubes of paints.

The introduction of tubes for paints made it easy for artists to paint outdoors, essential to the impressionists and artists like Van Gogh who wanted to capture light and movement. 
Van Gogh's bedroom in Arles: note the red blanket on the bed and see next photo 
a microscope photo showing the thick brushstrokes and newsprint left on paint after Van Gogh wrapped the painting in newsprint when transferring it.
microscope photo of Van Gogh painting showing particles of sand mixed in with the paint, proving he painted one of his pictures outdoors by the beach.
The Rijksmuseum :also just around the corner from my hotel
Studying Rembrandt
crowds gather to see Rembrandt's Night Watch
Rembrandt's The Night Watch
crowds kept back from the huge Night Watch painting
The crowds are kept back from the canvas as a few years ago, a person of unbalanced mind, slashed the painting with a knife in a few places. The painting was carefully restored and now the knife marks aren't visible

 In awe of the Night Watch
Rembrandtplein: The Night Watch in life size statues with Rembrandt's statue in the background
In amongst the life size statues of the Night Watch
Rembrandt's House
Rembrandt was a wealthy artist with commissions to do the Night Watch and others. However, he overspent and couldn't keep up payments on the house with it eventually being sold.
Rembrandt's studio on the second floor, where he painted many of his most well known paintings
More images of Amsterdam:
The streets of Amsterdam
Girls reading on steps of Amsterdam house, Prinsengracht
storm damage along the Amsterdam canals
more storm damage in Amsterdam centre
another tree down, luckily they all fell canal side and not on the houses
bridges over the canals
Amsterdam has it all.
the floating pagoda Chinese restaurant
old Dutch clogs
tulips from the canal side tulip market
the largest pancake I have ever seen covering
the dinner plate underneath
                               Heineken being distributed around the city

the delightful 'brown cafes' in the city (not to be confused with the seedier 'coffee shops' that sell hashish and cannabis and where people can openly smoke it)

plate display in city centre shop window

wooden Dutch clogs
more bikes
my last afternoon I spent in the delightful Vondel Park

And other things...
street musician in Covent Garden

Hedi and daughter Sabine enjoying the sights of London during their recent visit

On my first day back, I unpacked and then rushed out to the Cassiobury Park Firework event
dazzling fireworks in Cassiobury Park
amazed at the firework spectacle
more fireworks
keeping the wind at bay at the fireworks event
waiting for the fireworks display
A good few, hectic, wonderful weeks. Tomorrow - back to work
(c) Deborah Anne Brady. 2013