Art Stroll

Art Stroll: 1600 – 1700 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Last month I was lucky enough to go to Amsterdam for a couple days and here is a second Art Stroll from the visit of the Rijksmuseum – this time about the Art from 1600 – 1700

I find a lot of humor in some of the artwork – almost worth making up some memes :)


Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, Known as the ‘Night Watch’, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642
The only way to take a photo without plugging through other visitors or being obnoxious with a camera. I always try to be very quick and the least distracting for other visitors in a museum when I take a photo after taking the artwork in.

Now- I have no idea why this the triptych below hung in the hall of 1600-1700 – as it is actually an earlier piece- but ..I will show it since it is stunning


It is the end of the world. The dead emerge from their tombs and are judged by Christ, seated on a rainbow in the sky. He consigns the wicked to hell (right), where perpetual fire and terrifying demons await them. The righteous souls may go to heaven (left): a place of color and light. Peter and Paul, the patron saints of Leiden, are set before a grand imaginary landscape on the outer wings of this altarpiece.Triptych with the Last Judgement outer wings: Saints Peter and Paul, Lucas van Leyden, 1526 – 1527

Beautiful window in the hall


Portrait of a Couple, Probably Isaac Abrahamsz Massa and Beatrix van der Laen, Frans Hals, c. 1622

This happy, smiling pair sits comfortably close to each other. Posing a couple together in this way was highly unusual at the time. It may have been prompted by the sitters’ friendship with the painter and the occasion for the commission – their marriage in April 1622. The painting thus contains references to love and devotion, such as the garden of love at right, and at left an eryngium thistle, known in Dutch as ‘mannentrouw’, or male fidelity.I love the expressions on their faces – you see the painter clearly loved them.

Children Teaching a Cat to Dance, Known as “The Dancing Lesson” Jan Havicksz Steen, 1660-1679, oil on panel

Aweee- poor kitty – I do really hope there was no long posing involved for the poor cat

The Feast of St. Nicholas, Jan Havicksz Steen, 1665-1668, oil on canvas

well …guess the boy on the left wasn’t that lucky for St. Nicolas. You usually get a piece of coal and dry twigs if you weren’t good of a kid  …guess why I know ? ;)

The Drunken Couple, Jan Havicksz Steen, 1655-1665

Of course the cat is just watching the thieves taking their belongings ….LOL

A Mother Delousing her Child’s Hair, Known as “A Mother’s Duty”, Pieter de Hooch, c. 1658-1660, oil on canvas

Oh the joy of being a mother …;)

The Threatened Swan, Jan Asselijn, ca. 1650 – oil on canvas

a swan fiercely defends its nest against a dog. In later centuries this scuffle was interpreted as a political allegory; the white swan was thought to symbolize the Dutch statesman Johan de Witt (assassinated in 1672) protecting the country from its enemies. This was the meaning attached to the painting when it became the very fist acquisition the Nationale Kunstgalerij (the forerunner of the Rijksmuseum) in 1880

The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede, Jacon Isaacksz van Ruisdael, c. 1660 – 1670, oil on canvas

Self-Portrait, Ferdinand Bol , 1653, oil on canvas

Ferdinand Bol was a scholar of Rembrandt. Ever thought about the urge of artists of taking a selfie throughout the centuries? I find it funny that people are so upset that people take selfies with a camera – it is not new, just the tools are different and who actually is capable of doing it.


Comments (4)

  • Laura Weed

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    I was blessed to visit the Rijksmuseum in the 1980’s (while the rest of my tour did Anne Frank’s House which was just too much for me) and I was absolutely blown away at the size of some of those paintings I had only ever seen in books before. What an immersive experience. Rembrandt is one of my favorites, and I love looking at the expressions on the faces of the people in the backgrounds. So glad you’re sharing this amazing place!

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      It is a gorgeous museum and I am glad we went back again – there is just so much to see :)

      Reply

  • Sue Clarke

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    Portrait of a Couple is just delightful and so unusual for that time period.
    I don’t believe for a minute that you got coal. LOL
    The frame around the Swan is gorgeous.

    Reply

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Art Stroll: Modern Art at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Last month I spend a lovely weekend in Amsterdam and since we haven’t been at the Rijksmuseum for a while we decided to go :) Now usually the Rijksmuseum is not really what you connect with Modern Art …the more the reason for us to check out the small collection a kind of hidden floor :)

Standing Figure, Karel Appel, 1949 – wood, paint, metal

Shortly after the Second World War a new generation of young artists stepped into the limelight. With their unpolished and improvised painting  and sculptures they celebrated their regained freedom after years of German occupation. Karel Appel looked at artifacts from Africa and Oceania. He thought they were exemplary models of the unspoiled creativity and drive that should form the basis fo art in a free society.

Below two paintings by Karel Appel

Child with Donkey (Kind met ezel), Karel Appel, 1949 – oil on canvas

In 1949 the smoldering eyes of Appel’s figures of children caused a great deal of discomfort among the public, The silent reproach of their gazes even led to his wall painting Questioning Children in the Amsterdam city hall being covered over. Appel began painting children after a  trip through post-war Germany. The misery of the often orphaned, hungry, and begging war children made indelible impression on him.

La Ville Noyèe (The Sunken City), Constant, 1956, oil on canvas

the title of this painting may refer to Atlantis, a beautiful and prosperous legendary island that was engulfed by the sea, according to Greek mythology. When Constant made this painting he was devising his own imaginary society: a city for the people of the future that he christened New Babylon.

Artist Looking at Herself, Marlene Dumas 1983, gouache, acrylic paint, chalk, on paper

Eroticism and her role as a female artist are recurring themes in Dumas’ work. This portrait presents a paintress but whether it is Dumas herself is not clear. We see a women looking through spread legs into  mirror under her. She olds a paintbrush in her left hand, as though she is painting the pictures at this very moment.

Four Virigitns (1-4), Marlene Dumas, 1993- gouache, indian ink

No identification is given for the four women portrayed here by Marlene Dumas. Can they be recognized as famous models, or are the randomly photographed women? That they are virgins is emphatically indicated in the title. Whether this definition applies solely to the women’s virginal stat or refers to their virtuousness is left up to the beholder by Dumas.

Dish Relief, Jan Schoonhooven, paper, cardboard, paint, wood

Like his 17th-century predecessor and fellow Delft artist Johannes Vermeer, Jan Schoonhoven was fascinated by light. His brilliant white reliefs are composed of a few basic forms, whose irregular surfaces make light visible. Here Schoonhoven pasted pieces of cardboard on top of each other to create a design of light and dark lines, which resembles light playing through a cobweb.

Mondrian Dress, Yves Saint Laurent, 1963, wool, silk lining

The abstract geometric visual language of De Stijl in the 1920s inspired a new generation of artists forty years later. The French couturier Yves Saint Laurent won international success with dresses inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian. This is the most elementary model of the six variants presented by Yves Saint Laurent in 1965.

Space Circus, Constant, 1956 – 1961, soldred wire

This is not just a sculpture in its own right, but also the model of a meters-high construction that Constant wished to install on the Museumplein in Amsterdam. The small ladders indicate that it was meant to be climbed. This giant climbing frame was part of New Babylon, Constant’s imaginary metropolis of the future populated by homo ludens, or man the player.

Man and Machine, Marinus Johannes Hack, c. 1913, sandstone

This statue stood at the entrance of the Amsterdam office of a company that exported machines to Dutch businesses in the former Dutch East Indies. The Javanese man, nude and sitting cross-legged, symbolizes the colony. The modern diesel engine in his lap alludes to the company’s trading activities, as well as to the progress that the Netherlands hoped to bring to Indonesia.

….mhhhh….

Portrait of Marie Jeanette de Lange, Jan Toorop, 1900, oil on canvas

Marie Jeanette de Lange chaired the Vereeniging voor Verbetering van Vrouwenkleding (Association for the Improvement of Women’s Clothing), which championed hygienic, loose-fitting, natural clothing that allowed women greater freedom of movement. In February 1900 she posed at home, dressed comfortably, for Jan Toorop. Using tiny dots of colourful paint, he created a sparkling portrait of a modern woman on the threshold of a new century.

Road through the Woods, Jan Sluijters, 1910, oil on canvas

Self Portrait, Edgar Fernhout, 1945, oil on canvas

Edgar Fernhout often painted himself by way of practice, coolly and objectively as though he  were an object. However this is not the case of this self portrait done in the last year of the Second world War; Five years of German occupation and a famine, the so called Hunger Winter 44-45, show in his gaze and gaunt face. After the war he abandoned realism and painted mostly abstract landscapes.

Mercedes de Barcelona, Pyke Koch, 1930, oil on canvas

the playing cards in this picture suggest that this woman is a fortune teller. Her large unreal eyes, too, seem to suggest some mysterious fate. In 1930-31 Koch painted three women of “questionable virtue”; in addition to the fortune teller, he portrayed a street girl and a fairground woman. He gave all three the facial features of the Danish film star Asta Nielsen, whom he so admired, with a broad mouth and high arched eyebrows.

Composition, Bart van der Leck, 1918, oil on canvas

Bart van der Leck, one of the first artists to become involved with De Stijl magazine, limited his palette to primary colours – red, yellow and blue – along with neutral white, black and grey. He always took a recognisable design as his starting point, reducing this to a Composition of pure, geometrical forms. He described what he tried to achieve as ‘monumental clarity

Composition, Jozef Peeters, 1921, oil on canvas

As editor of the cultural magazine Het Overzicht Jozef Peters maintained  close contact with other pioneers of Abstract art, such as the Dutch artists affiliated with De Stijl journal as well as up-and-coming talents including Carel Willink. Although Peeters championed pure Abstract art divorced from reality, his daughter later wrote that the Paris Underground was the inspiration for this Composition

Composition Liebe (Love) Carel Willink, 1923, oil on canvas

In Berlin of the 1920s the disillusionment of a lost war (1914-1918) was drowned in drink, lust, and love. However, art and culture also flourished as never before. In this melting pot the young art student Carel Willink soaked up the influences of Italian Futurists, Russian Constructivists, French Cubists and German Dadaists like a sponge. All of these styles reverberate in this painting, in which figures merge in the lamplight of the metropolis.

Self Portrait , Elly Tamminga, ca. 1920-55

Elly Tamminga peers at the subject she is painting outside the picture plane. The paintbrushes in the vase are her tools. The sailing boat of the silhouetted village with a church tower on the embankment behind her are small and therefore farther away in the distance. Atmospheric perspective is avoided, however and volume is suggested only by the two shades of red in her face and blue in her hair.

It was a really interesting art stroll through Modern Art – and I loved getting introduced to some new to me but well known Dutch Artists as well. Hope you enjoyed this Art Stroll as well :)


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Comments (1)

  • Janene

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    There are so many things to comment on:

    The Yves St. Laurent dress: I wish it was hanging in my closet. It’s still classically beautiful even though it’s 55 years old.
    The Elly Tamminga work: love the colors and the strength she exudes.
    The “Portrait of Marie Jeanette de Lange” by Jan Toorop: all those tiny dots! I wonder if there’s an underpainting to help guide the color placement. I’m in awe.
    The “Man and Machine” sculpture: I’m not sure I would interpret it as “modern diesel engine in his lap alludes to the company’s trading activities”. I think it says something else entirely.
    And there are no words for the brilliant placement of the nails in “Standing Figure” by Karel Appel.

    Thanks for the amazing virtual visit to the Rijksmuseum.

    Reply

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