Saturday, September 20, 2014

Netherlands Adventures!: Museum Lakenhal

Last week, I went at visited the Museum Lakenhal.  It's not too far from Central College in Leiden, so after class, I left and walked maybe five minutes until I was there.  This is an art museum filled with Dutch artists, which was awesome!  It definitely wasn't like going to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Not only was this building an art museum, but it was sort of about history too.  There was some history about the building itself and some about the Eighty Years War.  I'll talk about these two later though.  I'll start general and get more specific.

Leiden's claim to fame is the painter Rembrandt.  He was supposedly born here.  There is a small park with sculptures devoted to him and there is a plaque put into the building where he was born (although it's since been modernized).  So there was quite a bit of his work in the Museum Lakenhal.

Personal Opinion: The young girls in this painting freak me out a little.  They're so pale they look like ghosts with flaming
red hair.
GIANT stained glass window.  This used to be in someone's mansion, but now it's here, sitting
in a spot where it stands floor to ceiling.  Holy cow.
The Dutch are famous for their tile paintings, so I was really excited to find some examples of it.  It's not always like this though.  Most of the time it was individually painted tiles that would be in the kitchen or in the fireplace, covering a wall.
Okay, these next two made me giggle a little bit in a room full of religious-themed triptychs.  I just had to share them.  I'm definitely going to hell for this.

On my computer, I named this picture "Bro Jesus" because in my mind, Jesus is saying "Hey bro, I'm risen!  I'm gonna go chill in heaven!"  Just the way his hand is formed, it looked like in the movies when the tough guys try to pick up chicks.  Also, what is he doing on top of that ball?  It's like he's in the circus.

Like I said, I'm definitely going to hell for this.  But this part of the painting just makes me smile :)  It wasn't what I expected to see when I walked into a room filled with paintings of biblical scenes!
This one was a little startling to find.  Just some angel grabbing a guy's butt, no big deal.
This is only part of a painting, but I thought it was adorable how excited she is to receive this fish and bread.  This painting was actually part of the Relief of Leiden exhibit, so... segue!
 The Relief of Leiden Exhibit

The Relief of Leiden was part of the Eighty Years War with the Spanish.  Now from 2-3 October, there is a giant festival celebrating the fact that in 1574 the withdrawal of the Spanish, resulting in Leiden's relief.  Maybe around October or when I start my history class, I'll be able to say more on the subject.

This is a modern representation of this time.  This was, I think, commissioned by Leiden University.  People were asked to pose in what was worn during this time and what they might have looked like during this time.  I think these pictures were (essentially) photoshopped together to form this devastating scene.

The Cloth Industry

The Museum Lakenhal used to be where cloth was shipped to via the canals and where cloth was inspected and shipped out again and made.  That's what I gathered as I was walking around and reading what English things were available to read.

Some of the cloth that was made.  Beautiful, isn't it?
A painting of the people in charge of the building when it was still part of the cloth industry.

An example of tile art that was on the wall!
A loom.
This museum definitely sits in a special place in my heart.  I'll definitely have to come back!  Maybe when I learn more Dutch.  I think I'd get a little more out of the museum that way, given this is Dutch history and, more importantly, Leiden history.

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