Museum Boijmans Van Beuningan- Rotterdam, Netherlands

The back of the museum and sculpture garden
In order to avoid being “arted out” during my time in Europe, I decided to pick one art museum per city to visit. Due to the wide variety in the collection and all the familiar names, I picked the Boijmans Van Beuningan museum in Rotterdam. It is named after two art collectors that left their collections to the city of Rotterdam. Boijmans left his collection to the city in 1849 and soon it was on display for all to enjoy. 
Performance artists in the background

We stopped in for a quick bite to eat at the cafe in front of the museum and had delicious hot chocolate and apple tart. Then I put Landon down for a nap. Due to the placement of the elevator, we started in the modern/ temporary exhibition wing. Coming out of the elevator, we immediately were taken in by the performance artists doing very interesting, jerky and flowing choreography in the middle of the museum. It seemed to be structured around a dance rehearsal, but everything was obviously choreographed and rehearsed. When I came back through to go down the elevator and exit, these two were still dancing. That’s one way to burn calories!

Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope, Salvador Dali

The modern exhibit was somewhat interesting and had many mixed media and video pieces in the collection. Soon I realized we were not in a G-rated museum any longer. I’ll just say that I’m glad Landon was sleeping as we tried to find our way out of the exhibit and on to the Masters, which is what we came to see in the first place. Because we came at the whole museum backwards, we also took a tour of the history of art backwards, starting with Salvador Dali. I find his work quirky, but captivating.

Couple aux tetes pleines de muages- Dali 

I really liked the above painting. The shape of the frames is patterned after the painter and his wife. The objects on the empty tables are mirrored in further away objects in the desert, and I like that the heads are full of clouds, like they are dreaming.

Brushstroke detail

\ My favorite part of this painting was that it was made with layers of different colors of paint in tiny strokes, instead of mixed all together. From further away, it gave a unique effect, up close it looked super cool!
This is a picture of the port of Rotterdam, which is where we are staying, so that was also neat to see what it looked like back in 1907.

Le port de Rotterdam-1907 Paul Signac

The color choices in the below painting were quite odd, as was the subject. In the center is a baby(the painter’s daughter), and objects in the painting symbolizing trains and a light pole symbolizing electricity.

The new Generation- Jan Toorp

In high school, we were assigned cultural presentations in language class. I took French, and always picked artists I had not heard of before to do reports on. Cezanne was one of them. It’s fun to be walking through a museum and recognize names from something you studied in school!

Landcape near Aix with the Tour de Cesar- Paul Cezanne

I can’t get enough of the artists that took center stage in the Netherlands during the Dutch Golden Age. The way they portrayed scenes from every day life so crisply and realistically makes me want to stick these windmill and landscape pictures all over my house!

Landscape with windmill near Schiedam, 1873- Jan Weissenbruch
I can’t find the title of this piece, but I like it!
Portrait of  a Woman- Peter Paul Rubens
The Man with the Red Cap, Rembrandt

Although I typically am not drawn to portraits, these by Rubens and Rembrandt were captivating. On the left is a typical Rubenesque woman- voluptuous and pale, and on the right is the unmistakable Rembrandt style of painting. Both come alive and seem to be searching the viewers outside of the painting.

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary- Pieter Aertsen

Following the Golden Age masters, many of the paintings turned more religious. I found the painting to the left to be interesting because it has so much going on! In the front is a bunch of still life work making a kitchen scene. In the middle is Martha and a slough of others preparing a meal, while in the background, Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus learning from Him.

Three Marys at the Tomb- Jan Van Eyck

Van Eyck was a famous painter of religious subjects in the 1400’s. He perfected the use of oil paint to make more vivid colors. He often combined medieval architecture with Bible stories, as seen in the painting above. His work is fairly rare, and this is the only piece by him in the Netherlands.

“Fixing” the bike with daisies
Landon woke up as I was finishing browsing the museum. Compared with the other attractions that I have visited with a napping boy in the stroller, this one was the least stroller friendly. Within the Master’s exhibits, there were stairs in some sections with no ramps in sight. Although I was able to carry the stroller up the few stairs, it was just not as seamless of an experience as I normally have with the stroller. There were some other modern exhibits that were only available by going up stairs. Landon and I wandered through some more modern art as we exited using the only elevator in the temporary exhibition. I just don’t understand or appreciate most modern art. 
After we left, it was sunny outside but a little chilly. We walked around the back of the museum to get a picture because the whole front is obscured by construction on the road at present. One of Landon’s favorite (and most annoying) activities is that he likes to “fix” the stroller. This idea can pop into his head anywhere- from in the middle of crossing the street to halfway down the escalator to the subway! When this happens, he squirms out of the stroller and must crouch down and mess with the front stroller tire. He calls it his bike. This day, he decided the only cure for the front tire was shoving daisies into the small hole in the axle. I hope it doesn’t permanently hurt the stroller, but it was pretty cute!

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