Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Vermeer and Rembrandt at the Rijks...
"You probably 'died' so many times during your trip," said one of my friends to me.
This friend was commenting on my photo with a Van Gogh painting and how I said that I just died seeing the painting in real life.
I have to agree with my friend. I died over and over again so many times during the trip.
One of the highlights of the trip was getting to see the works of great artists mankind has ever known.
As a kid, and I've said this so many times in previous posts, I've been exposed to the art world at a young age being the son of an artist.
I remember being an admirer of Filipino artists like Carlos "Botong" Francisco, H. R. Ocampo, Guillermo Tolentino, Napoleon Abueva, and of course, Fernando Amorsolo. I was surrounded by art growing up. My father painted. Our next door neighbour was a father-and-son tandem of gifted sculptors - Anastacio Caedo and his son Boy Caedo.
Eventually, I got to know about the artists from Europe such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, and so on. In UP, I excelled in my Humanities II class. It was a class I always looked forward to because we talked about art and art history. For one of my midterm exams, I did an oral analysis of a Degas painting of ballerinas. For my final grade (and if I remember correctly), I got a 1.25.
Here's a confession though: I never thought that I would one day come face to face with the works of these artists.
It's not because I didn't have dreams. It was because I was brought up to be content with what we have. It had its good side and it had its not-so-good side. Looking back now, I am glad to have been exposed to individuals who believe that life is what we make of it, that we should dream and dream big. Otherwise, I wouldn't be aiming for bigger things.
My first Van Gogh was at the National Museum of Singapore a few years back. It was during the Dreams & Reality exhibit that featured pieces from the Musée d'Orsay. Seeing the works of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists was a dream that became a reality.
Some time last year, I visited the Pinacotheque exhibit at Fort Canning Hill twice. Again, I came face-to-face with the works of Monet, Van Gogh, Warhol, Picasso and so on.
So, it was only natural that the Europe trip will be packed with visits to the museum. All in all, I visited a total of 11 museums in a span of 12 days. Of these 11 museums, 5 were the homes of great artworks.
Above are 8 of the awesome paintings from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The first four are by Johannes Vermeer, while the last four are by Rembrandt van Rijn.
Vermeer's The Milkmaid was one of the pieces we discussed in Humanities II. He has always been a great master of lighting and composition. It is awesome how Vermeer was able to transform a daily routine into something that can be read as either poetic, iconographic or just simply practical.
The other Vermeer I really adored was Woman in Blue Reading A Letter. Again, his skill in lighting and composition can be seen in this work.
The four Rembrandt portraits are a few of the many Rembrandts on display at the Rijksmuseum. To be honest, I prefer these over The NightWatch. I feel that Rembrandt was able to show more of his skill in the portraits. But that's just me. Haha!
These are just eight of the I dunno how many paintings that I marvelled at during the trip. The Rijksmuseum was the second museum we visited in Amsterdam, and this was just during the second day of the trip.
I thought I'd be museum-ed out but I wasn't when it came to viewing art pieces. In fact, I wished I had more time to spend in the museums to just admire the pieces.
More art pieces to be posted soon...