Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Of Van Gogh and Rotterdam

Thursday morning we had tickets to the amazing Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. I ordered the tickets online well before we took the trip, and thus we didn’t have to wait in the long line of those who were buying tickets at the entrance. The museum is currently undergoing renovations. Its exhibits are arranged partly chronologically, but also by the artist’s relationship to his peers and time, and also by his development as a colorist, draftsman and more. The museum has great examples of such other artists as Pisarro, Gauguin and Kees Van Dongen. Many of Van Gogh’s paintings, donated by his nephew, are astounding and I learned that the “Crows in the Wheatfield” was not his last painting, contrary to legend. We also found out that his fugitive reds in the purples have faded with time so now many of his violets appear blue. It occurred to me that Van Gogh, like Anne Frank, is another tragic Dutch giant, a person who gave so much to the world and could have given even more, if it had not been for his suicide due to his mental problems. After we left the museum we took a train to Rotterdam. There, we visited the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, one of the largest collections in the Netherlands. Highlights included works by Bosch, van Eyck, Brueghel, Rembrandt, Ruysdael and many others. A wide span of time is covered in the collection, which we had never before seen. Rotterdam itself, having been heavily bombed in 1940, is mostly today a modern city, with tall skyscrapers. It’s very unlike Amsterdam, and is a fascinating contrast. –Dan

Photos: Rotterdam Train Stattion; Painting by De Bey, Tower of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum; Scenes of Rotterdam.

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