Friday, April 04, 2014

On Monday we moved on to another friend's to stay. A went off to a conference and we ladies went to some wonderful exhibitions. Firstly we visited Dordrecht and their recently restored Museum where there was an exhibition of the treasures from King William II's collection. When he died many of these treasures had to be sold off to pay debts, and the collection was dispersed. This exhibition brings those treasure together for the first time in 150 years, some from The Hermitage, St Petersburg, some from the Villa Vauban, Luxembourg, and others from all over the world. It was amazing to see such a great collection together, it must have been staggering to have all that in one place as a collector.
The next day we went off to visit Leiden and having made a mistake with the dates - the exhibition we were going to see ended on Sunday - we visited another museum, the famous Lakenhal. Here they are holding an exhibition of Gerrit Dou's works held in the Leiden Collection in New York (a private collection). This collection has works by Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Johannes Vermeer, among others, and fourteen paintings by Gerrit Dou. These are the paintings on display and it is the first time they have all been publicly displayed, and it is in Leiden, their place of origin.
On Thursday A and I went off to Amsterdam to visit the newly renovated Rijksmuseum. We don't normally drive to Amsterdam, but with GPS and lots of advice from Dutch friends we made it to the Museumplein car park, under all the museums and popped up into Museumplein with the Rijksmuseum almost just in front of us. We had a wonderful time walking around the museum, now laid out in centuries or at least in chronological order making for an interesting view of all things together from certain periods. We of course, saw the Night Watch and enjoyed other Rembrandts, Vermeers, Steens and other contemporary Dutch artists. We got all the way to the top to see Karl Appel and an aeroplane, and also some van Gogh's with his contemporaries. A full and very enjoyable day - including a late, light lunch in the Museum café.
Almost every evening we have had dinner with friends, which has been amazing. It is so good to catch up and talk to friends not seen for a couple of years. All too soon we were leaving again for the drive back to UK.

Willem II Kunstkoning
Gerrit Dou at The Lakenhal (link may 'die' at end of exhibition)