21 May 2006

van gogh et al

no. I didn't go to the VG museum here in Amsterdam. I find it tiresome, looking at his works with a gaggle of oo-ers and ah-ers, there to see the top ten and then immediately get bored with his brushstrokes. don't get me wrong. a good Van Gogh is a great painting, and one can only really see his work in person. I think he was ruined for me by dorm-room posters. and those impressionist/postimpressionist mugs of the early 1990s. you know what I'm talking about.

I'm more a Rembrandt girl, so I headed to the Rijksmuseum this morning to take in the Night Watch and other similar works by the Dutch greats: Hals, Jan Steen, etc. etc. The Night Watch is huge. bigger than I thought. And very interesting. it was commissioned by the men whose pics are in it, and those that could pay the most are the ones that made the cut. I have to say, I'd be a bit upset about the work as a group portrait if I were wealthy enough to get into it. certain people in it get the best clothes, the fab sword (no symbolism there, I'm sure) the cool helmet. others get the askance look, the dubious look, the what-am-I-doing-here and who-is-that-glowy-girl look.

in any event, it's good to see the work, and great to see some of the other paintings. I'm a sucker for a still life with glass in it from the 17th century. What can I say? and, you can't make a mug out of the Night Watch. perhaps this should be the litmus test for good art.

No comments: