Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Nynke
Oh, how I wish I could have put you all in my pocket while we toured the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This pic is of my DH outside the entrance (The arbor reminded me of a rather naughty scene set in a grape arbor that I wrote into my novella in IMPROPER GENTLEMEN, due out July 2011. )
The Rijksmuseum is a glorious art collection that features the Dutch masters from Holland’s golden age. In the 17th century, the Netherlands, along with England and Spain, was one of the world’s superpowers and their art certainly reflects that. I saw so many Rembrandt canvases as well as 3 Vermeers. (Since there are only 34 known canvases attributed to this Dutch genius in the entire world, I felt doubly blessed to have seen these. And there is also a Boston connection with Vermeer since one of his works was stolen from the Isabella Gardner Musueum here in the 1990’s. The painting has never surfaced since then.)
After the Rijksmusuem, we visited the Van Gogh Museum. I will not try to explain how the Dutch pronounce his name, but it is nothing like our American “VAN-GO” and involves a sort of throat clearing sound that completely evades me. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t have recognized his early works. Though his productive period only lasted 10years his style changed dramatically. The later works from the time when he was in an asylum are rife with tortured emotion. The man was clearly in agony.
On Saturday, we took the train to Utrect and met up with Nynke, her boyfriend Asbjorn and her sister Alfke. After being online friends for several years, it was lovely to meet Nynke in real life. We had a delightful lunch and walking tour around Utrecht with them. It’s a charming university town.
We visited the Domkerk (also known as St. Maarten’s Cathedral) and saw the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, rising to a height of 368 feet. Part of the cathdral collapsed in the 1600’s during a rare hurricane that ravaged the area. Amazingly the tower survived. We also encountered a Dutch celebration leading up to the coming of Saint Nicholas, which I’ll tell you about in early December.
We had a wonderful trip. I’m still exhausted and I seriously need to get back to my writing schedule, but this journey to the Netherlands was an incredible gift. I’m almost too tired to think still. Grateful is the only word that comes to mind.
After you travel, how long does it take you to get back into your normal routine?