Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Amsterdamsters, 4: At The Rijksmuseum

All day rain was forecast Sunday, so, like everyone else here, we elected to spend it at the national museum. They have finally completed all the renovations underway on our last few visits to the Rijksmuseum, and it was a bit disorienting to see everything in its proper place. All the biggies now are on the main grand hall--improving tour bus traffic immensely, one assumes--but one has to be really dedicated to track down that one obscure Avercamp or de Smooch he/she has come to Amsterdam to see. Whatever. I have posted about the Rijksmuseum before, probably more than once, and most of the biggies can be seen at http://roadeveron.blogspot.nl/2012/07/rijksmuseum-i.html. For the present longish post I will focus on some of the lesser works and on some of the lesser intricacies of art history and scriticism.
The Medieval/Renaissance collection starts
right next to the bathrooms/lockers, so we
started there...above, what would normally
be called a Tree of Jesse is here, apparently,
a Column of Jesse; rock hard...

In this masscre of something or other scene, art historian Vicki
notes that Mary Janes evidently were popular in 15th century
Dutch painting 

Smirking Madonna..."I'm the Queen of Heaven! I'm the Queen
of Heaven"

A polychrome carving of the the Marriage at Cana or the
Dinner at Emmaus or whatever...note that the earthly Jesus, in
an unusual depiction, is here wearing a hat

One of the Weepers, little sculptures some
queen or other had made and arrayed around her
tomb; each of the Weepers was one of her
children; Rebecca, Rachel, note

Muy importante...enlarge and study...this is the first European
painting depicting the Encounter--Landscape with an Episode
from the Conquest of America
, Jan Mostaert, 1555

In the Hall of Model Ships...a whole fleet of masterpieces

In the Hall of Doll Houses, Vicki studies...

The nursery...two sets of twins! One for the wet nurse, one for
the dry nurse...

I never, ever, pass up a Claude Lorrain

Now we are in the Grand Hall of the Biggies, I mean, of Honor,
watching other people mostly

OK, so you're one of the city's rich and powerful and you and
your club engage this painter to do a group portrait, the whole
point of which is for you and your friends to be able to
recognize yourselves and point and say, Yup, that's me, way back
in 1642; only the painter guy is really more interested in action,
emotion, brushwork, light and shadow...it was years after 
The Night Watch before Rembrandt received another portrait

Men in black

In the Vermeer room, off the Grand Hall; our favorite, the
woman reading the letter (with the map), was on loan in New
York (a former Dutch colony)

The Grand Hall of Honor

So I are marveling at this over-sized Massacre of the Innocents,
and especially its Caravaggio-style composition, featuring, um,
male buttocks, when Vicki notes...

That we are in fact  in the Caravaggio room (sorry, it's a
running gag)

Fishing for Souls...Protestant-style on the left, Catholic- on the

A favorite Avercamp winter scene, favorite in part for its
Breughelesque scope and realism (details on request)

And thus ended another great day at one of the world's great
museums; back out into the rain...


Rebecca said...

Please tell me you bought the Vermeer lego set for P!!!! That is too cool.

Mark said...

Sorry. It's Playmobil, not Lego. Still want it?

Tawana said...

Play mobile has a new Martin Luther character coming out in July.