Amsterdam, Monday Dec 17 - Day 17
Trip Start Nov 30, 2012
34Trip End Jan 31, 2013
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My tired bundles all slept in and I went for a walk around the area. The Nordstreet markets were open so I wandered around them. They are mainly flea markets with lots of second-hand clothing and shoes, books, knick knacks. I could not get into the apartment when I got back.
You have to sort of pull the door towards you and then pull on the key whilst you turn it. Tried and tried and kept pushing against the door and no luck. Buzzed and Zed let me in. Once we all finally emerged from the apartment we walked to The Hermitage which has a Van Gogh exhibition. The Van Gogh museum is closed for renovations so they have moved some works to The Hermitage.
It took us about 90 minutes to get there going along streets including some which are part of the famous 9 Streets section which have beautiful little shops selling quirky and quite expensive stuff. The exhibition had some of Van Gogh's most famous works including Sunflowers, Potato Eaters and the Yellow Room. There was some of his Japanese inspired work as well. The kids were hoping to see the Starry Night painting but it wasn't there. There is one painting he did a couple of weeks before he killed himself - I love that painting and it was there.
When we came out it was dark so we were able to see some of the city's night illuminations. I think each year the city commissions different artists from around the world to create light sculptures in public spaces. I was determined for the kids to try chips with mayonnaise and chopped onion and that and some croquettes ended up being our dinner. Walked home and I still couldn't manage to get the front door to our apartment open.
I came to realise that I was less than impressed with a number of Van Gogh's works. The one of the bedroom seemed to have a number of problems with perspective. Many of the blossom paintings were impressive but I am not affected by them as I am by the works of other artists.
I guess that standing right in front of the work, centimetres away from it, forces me to look more closely than I ever did at prints or scanned copies. This was disappointing for me as I was looking forward to being moved.
I still remember Don McLean's song (Vincent) which starts "Starry, starry night, paint your palette blue and grey, look out on a Summer's day with eyes that know the darkness in my soul". I always thought that was one of the most beautiful songs I had ever heard, obviously Don was moved by Vincent's works.