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Art And History: Vermeer, Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Leonardo

So much beautiful art and history.

When a friend asked us to join them on a bike trip through the Netherlands, I jumped. I had wanted to do one for a while. So exercise, art and friends… and food and wine. Who would say no, right?

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)

On our first stop in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum is featuring the largest Vermeer special exhibit ever, featuring 34 pieces. Vermeer, a Dutch figurative painter, paints scenes set in his house in Delft. He is thought to have only painted 37. I studied up on him. Read, listened and watched: “The Last Vermeer”, “Tim’s Vermeer”, many podcasts and The Girl with The Pearl Earring.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669)

At the Rijksmuseum, our guide, Sabry Amroussi, an art historian educated us on Rembrandt, a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and draughtsman. Rembrandt is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Prolific too. It is estimated he produced a total of about three hundred paintings, three hundred etchings and two thousand drawings.

Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890)

The next day - off to the Van Gogh Museum: an excellent presentation. Van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in Western art history. I recommend the 3 part podcast “Madness Genius and Tragedy” by Creative Codex.

Watch out for the bicycles!

From there we started our biking trip through the Netherlands and Brussels. Flat and fun and yes, electric:) Gorgeous countryside and fabulous people.

Bayeux Tapestry

Leaving Bruges, we landed in Bayeux, a tiny French town featuring the Bayeux Tapestry telling he epic adventure of William the Conqueror in 1066.

A work of embroidery of woolen yarn, embroidered on linen, this 230 feet long x 20inches tall artwork is an account of the medieval period in Normandy and England like no other.

Cloud Series In The Future Works

Not to get comfortable, we packed up again, and took the bullet train to Paris. I took so many cloud photos…watch for a series of cloud paintings.

Paris and the Louvre Museum

We had one full day in Paris so we packed in a guided tour of the Louvre, shopping, dining and walking. The Louvre palace is home to some of the world's most iconic pieces – paintings, sculptures, architectural elements and art objects by famous or anonymous artists! And as you can see from the photos, the people are ready to travel again and the museums are exceptionally crowded! That is the Mona Lisa in the middle photo.

To top it off, we overlapped one day with my daughter and her husband, Becca and Lucas, in Paris. Icing on the cake.

Counting my blessings. Glad to be home and anxious to paint.


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