A CULTURAL WALK - FEBRUARY 2006
In February 2006, the Van Gogh Museum decided to show a comparative exhibition of paintings from Rembrandt and Caravaggio. Furthermore, the Rijksmuseum was undergoing renovation works, and thus was showing 400 of its masterpieces concentrated in a small space. So, it seemed a nice occasion to get back to Amsterdam and that's what I did! Here, we may see the pictures of a cultural stroll through town!
"CONCERTGEBOUW - In 1881 plans started to be made to provide Amsterdam with a proper concert hall worthy of the name. On 11 April 1888, almost two years after the building itself was completed; the grand opening took place at this wonder of neoclassical architecture. Bernard Haitink, who leaded the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1961 through 1988, once described the Concertgebouw as the best instrument in the orchestra!"
"THE VAN GOGH MUSEUM, with its two buildings (the main designed by Gerrit Rietveld and opened in 1973, and the Exhibition Wing by Kisho Kurokawa completed in 1999), is probably my favourite museum in Amsterdam. Further to the fabulous Van Gogh collection of paintings, it also usually holds some special exhibitions of masterpieces from around the globe. This was the case for the Rembrandt-Caravaggio, and there I was for the opening"
"THE RIJKSMUSEUM is one of the richest museums in the world. It has been housed, since 1885, in architect Pierre Cuypers' building on the Museumplein, and since 2003 through 2009 is undergoing huge renovation works. A nice opportunity to see the masterpieces concentrated"
"SELF-PORTRAIT - Blurred!"
"MASTERPIECES - I hesitated to post these pictures, as they're also somehow blurred; but finally couldn't resist... Vermeer (1632-1675) has now only 35 paintings attributed to him; but they're all stunning. The love letter is part of the main lot; Jan Steen (1626-1679) is probably the most amazing of the Dutch; his sense of humour is fantastic. Frans Hals (1580-1666) is a fantastic portrait painter. And Rembrandt (1606-1669) is Rembrandt!"
"THE WILLET-HOLTHUYSEN MUSEUM, on Herengracht at number 605, was built between 1685 and 1687. Having had Abraham Willet and his wife Louisa Holthuysen as last residents, the latter left the house with its contents and her husband's art collection to the city in 1895 on condition the house became a museum. It's a quite nice small museum, actually the only fully furnished patrician house on Amsterdam's canals open daily to the public"
"WILLET'S COLLECTIONS AND GARDEN - The original arrangement of the rooms has remained intact over the years, and the porcelain and crystal collection is quite interesting. The garden is amazing, taking into account its surroundings!"
"NEMO - The Renzo Piano Building Workshop designed NeMo, the giant boat-like building, looking like a ship docked at Oosterdok, for the National Centre for Science and Technology. It's an amazing construction, like most of Renzo Piano's buildings (remember Centre Pompidou, Paris)"
"STEDELIJK CS. - The main Municipal museum at Museumplein is also under renovation. But the Stedelijk is holding some exhibitions at the temporary location CS. When I visited, there was one with photos from Rineke Dijkstra. These were taken in Portugal, and show three «forcados», the guys that perform the face catch of the bulls in Portuguese style bullfights..."