Saturday, 20 June 2015

Amsterdam

I started my winter holiday from Amsterdam, a city known for its artistic heritage, red light district, amazing nightlife, beautiful scenery..


When there's sun during winter, I found that it was just amazing and I love this kind of weather so much, perhaps there is always so hot in Singapore (or south east asia), so I really enjoyed my winter time in Europe. First time in Amsterdam, and I love this city.


For beer lovers, must try their local beer, visit Brouwerij 't ij (The IJ Brewery), with the cute logo of an ostrich and en egg, was founded in 1985 by musician and songwriter Kasper Peterson, who traveled often to neighboring Belgium, with his band Drukwerk.  Taking the opportunity while there to taste the special Belgian brews, he came up with the idea of brewing his own.

 visit their website: http://www.brouwerijhetij.nl




Vincent Van Gogh is my favourite  artist, he is one of the most well-known post-impressionist artists, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland on March 30, 1853.
The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional, lacked self-confidence and struggled with his identity and with direction. He believed that his true calling was to preach the gospel; however, it took years for him to discover his calling as an artist. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had already experienced two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium) where he was dismissed for overzealousness.
He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty. The works of his early Dutch period are somber-toned, sharply lit, genre paintings of which the most famous is "The potato eaters".
 The Potato Eaters (1885)

In 1886, he went to Paris to join his brother Théo, the manager of Goupil's gallery. In Paris, van Gogh studied with Cormon. Having met the new Impressionist painters, he tried to imitate their techniques; he began to lighten his very dark palette and to paint in the short brushstrokes of the Impressionists’ style. Unable to successfully copy the style, he developed his own more bold and unconventional style.
van Gogh hoped like-minded artists could create together. Gauguin did join him but with disastrous results. Van Gogh’s nervous temperament made him a difficult companion and night-long discussions combined with painting all day undermined his health. Near the end of 1888, an incident led Gauguin to ultimately leave Arles. Van Gogh pursued him with an open razor, was stopped by Gauguin, but ended up cutting a portion of his own ear lobe off. Van Gogh then began to alternate between fits of madness and lucidity and was sent to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.
In May of 1890, after a couple of years at the asylum, he seemed much better and went to live in Auvers-sur-Oise under the watchful eye of Dr. Gachet. Two months later, he died from what is believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound "for the good of all." During his brief career, he did not experience much success, he sold only one painting, lived in poverty, malnourished and overworked. The money he had was supplied by his brother, Theo, and was used primarily for art supplies, coffee and cigarettes. 

 Starry night (1889)

 
 The song - starry night by Don Mclean

one of my favourite art piece from Van Gogh - Sunflowers (1887)

Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate')(1890), it was quite sad that he suffered from some form of mental illness.

 Museums are very common in Europe, this is one of the reason I love Europe so much as I am an arts lover.
We tend to think of art today as something that is found in a museum and appreciated in a disinterested manner. People who are able to appreciate "fine art" in this way are regarded as having "taste" which differentiates them from others.
However, the concept of art as it is understood today may not be found in the past. "Artists" were "craftsman" who engages in the processes of making "artistic" objects, often in the company of and with the co-operation of others.
Also, the concept of art as it is found in non-western countries may also be very different. Some cultures, for instance, saw art as having a ritual function primarily, with little or nothing to do with either "taste" or "craft".
This suggests that art is very much a culture-specific thing, and that we must understand the society and culture to fully appreciate the artworks.


The Rijksmuseum (Netherlands national museum), I was just enjoying my time there to appreciate every art collection.

 I love this violin so much, hoped I could bring it back, used to play violin and cello before.

   
My favourite music - Canon in D major


Cafe De Klos, The best spare ribs I've ever tried! super delicious. 

 Famous red light district

 I really love cheese and those ham/salami.

nice steakhouse, steak with wine - heaven!

 Cycling around the city, is such an enjoyment.


Amsterdam is really a beautiful and interesting city.


 One of the best of my trip was the awesome breakfast from the hotel, love their bread, fresh home made organic yoghurt, coffee!


Bye Amsterdam! heading to Paris by train. wine and food in the train. Life is great. :D