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Netherlands, the nation of Arts

What do you think of the Netherlands? Windmill and cheese? Or a free country without any regulations of drugs or prostitution? The Netherlands I saw was the home of the arts of famous painters such as Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Now I want to briefly show my travel of art in the Netherlands.

1. Vincent Van Gogh
Everyone knows that Van Gogh is a world famous painter. He is a Dutch painter and there is a huge ‘Van Gogh Museum’ in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Since Van Gogh's career as an artist is divided by period in this museum, I could watch his life and his progress as an artist step by step. Here are some of his most impressive works.

 

First work. Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
 

Van Gogh immortalised in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer subjects as the old town, fishing boats on the beach and the sea. This work portrays the effects of light on the water, with small boats returning from fishing. Back in Arles, Vincent described how fascinated he had been by the Mediterranean. He thought that its waters had ‘a color like that of mackerel, that is to say variable-you do not ever know if it is green or purple, you do not ever know if it is blue, because the next moment the ever-changing lustre has taken on a pink or grey tint.’ This ‘mackerel color’ is a central feature of the canvas. Van Gogh set his signature lower left in a conspicuous bright red, his motive being to introduce ‘a red note in the green.’

 

Second work. Almond Blossom


In January 1890, Theo, Vincent’s brother, wrote to Vincent that his wife Johanna had given birth to a son. The baby was to be named Vincent Willem, after his godfather. As a gift for the new arrival Vincent painted a picture of one of his favorite subjects, large branches of blossom against a blue sky. He thought that the work could be hung above Theo’s marital bed. Vincent chose the branches of the almond tree as a symbol of young life for the almond is one of the earliest trees to blossom, heralding spring in February. The artist drew his inspiration for the well-defined contouring and positioning of the tree in the picture pane from Japanese prints. Over the years the painting has lost some of its color. The blossom which now appears to be predominantly white was originally more pink.

 

2. Rembrandt Van Rijn
Rembrandt is also a Dutch painter and a representative painter of the Dutch Golden Age. As one of Holland's leading artists, the house where he lived in is located at Amsterdam and his works is displayed in many art galleries in the Netherlands. The year 2019 is the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt's death, so a special exhibition hall is also opening. Here are some of his most impressive works.

 

First work. Anatomy Lesson of Dr.Nicholaes Tulp


This work is exhibited at the Royal Museum (Mauritshuis), The Hague, The Netherlands. The theme of this work is an anatomical class of surgeons in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In the dark room is Dr. Nicolaes Pitersz (1593-1674), who teaches anatomy to seven characters on the left side of the screen, centered around the brightly-lit body. Like this, the group portrait, which draws several people from the same group, belongs to a unique genre of Dutch painting.

 

Second work. The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq (Night Watch)


This work is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It was completed in 1642, at the height of the Dutch golden age. Captain Frans Banning Cocq, a member of the militia in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and his crew raised funds for the production and ordered Rembrandt to paint their portraits. He commissioned this painting to hang on their newly built conference room in Amsterdam.
The painting began its restoration work on July 8, 2019. A glass box is placed around the work to show the restoration to the public. As I saw the restoration process for the first time, it was amazing


This trip allowed me to see the new face of the Netherlands. For Korean travelers, the Netherlands is simply known as a one-day transit country, but for me, the Netherlands was a beautiful country that loves art. For me, who was interested in art, it was an unforgettable experience to actually see Van Gogh and Rembrandt's paintings.

황희원  sso03134@naver.com

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