Travel logs
05.18.2011 - Day 8 and 9: Amsterdam
May 17: Today Kees, our art historian guide took us to the Rijksmuseum to see the highlights of the Dutch Golden Age: Vermeer, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, and Rembrandt. to name only the most important of the lot. A world-renowned Vermeer specialist, he offered unique insights into Vermeer's The Kitchen Maid (1658-60) and The Little Street (cc. 1658). For the connoisseurs and beyond, Kees's lecture on the Dutch masterpieces was fascinating. We left the museum feeling fortunate to have had such a scholarly yet personable guide at our disposal. Our next stop was Rembrandt's house, whose interior was recently restored to its original state and furnished with household items and works of art of Rembrandt's time. In the master's workroom, we were given a demonstration of how etchings were done in Rembrandt's time. In his studio, we witnessed how paint was made in the 17th century. Finally, we saw the almost complete collection of Rembrandt's unique etchings of biblical scenes, landscapes and portraits, exhibiting a remarkable eye for detail and unparaleled mastering of light and shadow effects.

In the evening, we saw the Netherlands Philarmonic Orchestra perform Mahler's Second Symphony, "The Ressurection", at the Concertgebouw. Again, we were in for a treat: the wonderful accoustics of the hall and the mastery of the orchestra and choir produced a magnificent experience. We all felt blessed to have seen and heard such an unforgettable performance.

May 18: Today was free for everyone to explore on their own. Some of us went to the Jewish Historical Museum, the van Gogh Museum and to an exhibition of icons from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This evening, we capped off our Amsterdam peformances with Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier: Sir Simon Rattle conducted an impressive cast.
deandaltontours  | 2011
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