On the morning of the 22nd, we Ubered our way to the museums surrounding the Museumplein, a large public space in southwest Amsterdam. Today, two more bucket list art museums were checked off the list.
The first museum of the day was the renowned Rijksmuseum, with some of the best paintings from Holland’s Golden Age, including Dutch Masters from Vermeer to Steen to Hals to Rembrandt. It was wonderful to behold.
Starting our day at the wonderful Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum has pieces other than great Dutch art. This is the uniform of a Jewish lady from a German concentration camp along with a photo album of her family before the Holocaust. It was powerful!
Frans Hals marvelous, “The Merry Drinker”
And, “The Merry Family,” by Jan Steen.
The magnificent, “The Milkmaid” by Vermeer. How delicately he captures the natural light in the scene.
William van de Velde, “The Gust.” It brings back memories.
The majestic Windmill by Jacob Ruisdael.
Rembrandt, of course.
One of my favorites of Rembrandt, “The Jewish Bride.” So beautiful and full of tenderness!
The star of the show, Rembrandt’s, “Night Watch”. (Which by the way takes place during the day!. It became so dirty and layered with grime over the years, it was thought to be a nighttime scene.)
A younger Rembrandt.
Cindy stands in front of the three Van Goghs on display at the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum in the background.
The next museum, just next door, was the Vincent Van Gogh museum, which contains 200 Van Gogh paintings which were owned by his brother, Theo. We looked at potato eaters, yellow houses, bedrooms, chairs, sunflowers, irises, wheat fields, and various other subjects transformed by Vincent’s distinctive technique. Oh… and we saw lots of Self-portraits!
Outside the Van Gogh museum. No photos were allowed, unfortunately. But, what a treat!
A photo-op spot.
Another commercial photo-op spot where they email you the photo taken by a machine.
We had a unique Dutch experience for lunch eating Rijsttafel at Sama Sebo, an Indonesian restaurant not far from the Museumplein. This Indonesian rice table is a throw back to the days when the islands of the East Indies were Dutch colonies. The rijsttafel, in which multiple dishes of food and spices are placed on the table with a bowl of rice, is a Dutch creation to showcase such an extravagant array from the islands.
Lunch stop: The Same Sebo Indonesian Restaurant.
This is what a Rijsttafel looks like! A feast for the senses!
After lunch, we tackled the third museum, which was not on my bucket list, but was, nonetheless, and enjoyable excursion into modern art at the Stedelijk Museum. While much of Modern Art leaves me shaking my head, we do enjoy some artists and their work. Among them is the Dutch artist, Piet Mondriaan, whose geometric patterns filled with primary colors and non-colors (black, white, shades of gray) are interesting. He was a part of the 20th century, Dutch De Stijl movement.
Amsterdam’s modern art museum, The Stedelijk
Cindy and an Andy Warhol at the Stedelijk Museum.
Cindy showing off her matching Mondriaan earrings (purchased at the Cleveland Museum of Fine Arts).
A Van Gogh at the Stedelijk
After stopping for a drink at the House of Bols Cocktail and Genever Experience we took the local tram back to the center of town where our hotel is located. For dinner, we sat out in the open air on one of the bridges spanning the canal to eat nachos and burgers at Cafe van Zuylen.
We’re suckers for signs like this: Outside the House of Bols: Cocktail and Genever Experience.
Dinner on the canal bridge: Nachos and Dutch Brew
Amsterdam canal view from our dinner table.
The Hotel Brouwer steps. Cindy has elevator-phobia and walked up 3 or 4 flights of spiral stairs to our room each time. Elevators (if they have them) in these old hotels are tiny. Two people riding the elevator together would be very intimately arranged. Three might be immoral.
The sun sets on another Amsterdam day (from our window).