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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Thursday, December 12, 2013


Obligatory shot.  Today paid a visit to the Rijksmuseum.  Some Dutch guy started talking to me about a 17th century domestic painting, insisting I explain why "I liked it." He went on to say, "I'm from here, and this is my first visit (to the museum)... shame on me."


  1. It was renovated for more than 10 years and the reopening was a few months ago. I hear they did a great job bringing the building back to its original grandeur. I've seen the Night Watch twice but it didn't impress me (it doesn't help two large parts have been cut from the painting). My favorite 17th century painter is Vermeer (his best painting used to be in The Hague but it's now on tour in the US). I hope you like Amsterdam, I think the city is a bit messy and sometimes badly planned (for instance the park behind the Rijksmuseum, or the chaos around the Central Station, or the ugly central Dam square). The old gable houses and canals still provide a very special atmosphere you cannot find elsewhere in The Netherlands.

  2. Rob, I timed the visit right for the Rijksmuseum, if it just reopened. The interior is fabulous. with the vaulted ceilings and stained glass in places. I also like the balconies and open layout of the old library. I liked a lot of the more obscure stuff, like a painting of a disemboweled Johan de Witt, or the paintings of Batavia and the colonial history... and I appreciated the Vermeers close up, very luminous. Picked up more about Dutch history as I went.
    The crowds get pretty heavy, especially with all the tour groups, even in December, I'd hate to see it in the summer. I had trouble finding my way around Amsterdam the first day or two, but am doing ok now. I really like it, as you say the canals and row houses, (and the Northern skies as well), give a great atmosphere.

    1. Since the canals are symmetrical I sometimes still have trouble finding my way...

  3. I got turned around myself once or twice in Amsterdam... Now I'm in Paris for the first time.