|The Glass of Wine by Johannes Vermeer|
The main reason I decided to visit Amsterdam was to see the historic Vermeer exhibit at the Rijksmuseum. With a ticket for 4:00 PM, I had a whole day to do some exploring. I headed back to the Museumplein to find a museum to visit.
My choice was the Modern Contemporary Museum (MOCO). MOCO explores works by artists who might be considered “non-traditional.” Street art, experimental art, pieces that might be ignored by more traditional museums. They house a wide variety of art in a relatively small space.
MOCO’s largest representation are pieces by Banksy, the edgy graffiti artist. His work always carries a not quite underlying political theme.
|Picasso by Banksy|
|Girl and Balloon by Banksy|
|Keep it Real - Monkey by Banksy|
|Angry Crows by Banksy|
The Permanent collection also includes works by Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, The Kid and Yayoi Kusama, among others.
|Flexible by Jean-Michel Basquiat|
|Untitled (Nuclear Television) by Kieth Haring|
|by Yayoi Kusama|
|by Yayoi Kusama|
|by Yayoi Kusama|
|I saw the Sun begin to Dim by The Kid|
MOCO also had a special exhibit exploring NFTs. These are pieces of digital art that have no physical existence.
|Hey by Beeple|
For lunch, I stopped at Renzo’s Delicatessen, a couple of blocks from the park. They offer a wide variety of sandwiches along with hot and cold plates. You can buy food to take back to the park for a picnic, or sit down at one of the tables on their second floor or one of their outdoor tables to enjoy your lunch. After my meal, and spending some time in the park, enjoying a beautiful spring day, four o’clock finally approached and it was time to head for the Rijksmuseum.
Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675) was a “classical” Dutch painter. He was active from 1653 until his death. His paintings offered a “slice of life”, exploring scenes of daily life among The Netherland’s merchant class. Vermeer is probably best known for “The Girl with a Pearl Earring”. In all, there are 37 works that have been attributed to him and this exhibit was special because the Rijksmuseum had brought together 28 of them, the largest collection ever put together for a single show.
|Hetstraatje (Little Street) |
|View of Delft|
While Vermeer created a few street scenes, especially early in his career, he is best known for his works that take place in a single room, usually lit from the left. His subjects were usually women, either carrying out a specific task, or in conversation with a servant or a visitor.
|Woman Writing a Letter with Her Maid|
|Detail of The Love Letter|
One of Vermeer’s recurring elements was to have his subject doing something, but not looking at what they were busy with. He would present them in a moment of contemplation, looking out a window, off to side, or even directly at the viewer.
|The Glass of Wine|
|Mistress and Maid|
|Young Woman with a Lute|
|Girl Reading a letter by an Open Window|
Vermeer was one of the first painters to use interior perspectives as naturally as he did. Some people have speculated that he used a camera obscura to help him capture his scenes. Whether he did no not, his painting are beautiful, and I am glad that I had a chance to see them.
|Girl with a Pearl Neckless|
|Girl Interrupted at Her Music |
|Officer and Laughing Girl|
Every once in a while a museum puts on a really special show. When that happens, try to take advantage of it and get there, even if you have to travel. It is worth the trip.