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Friday, 4 March 2016

Amsterdam Trip

B and I have returned from a very pleasant weekend trip to Amsterdam. The hotel was very nice, warm, clean and comfortable and was very close to the Museum Quarter. We found some good eateries as well.

Our principle reason for going was to visit the recently renovated and modernised Rijks Museum and the Van Gogh Museum.

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

Part of the atrium (the obligatory café and shop)
The Rijks Museum is known for its Dutch art, principally Rembrandt and Vermeer. The light levels are low and the use of flash is banned so photography is difficult but here are a few photos to give you a flavour of the museum magnificent collection.

This is the main attraction, Rembrandt's "Nightwatch". We could only smile and admire the painting.

"Louis Napoleon, King of Holland" by Charles Howard Hodges, 1809

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte

"Landscape with Rocky Cliffs and Waterfall" by Gustave Courbet, 1872
There wasn't much in the way of military history in the museum. There were a few cabinets of firearms and polearms and so on. There was a room with a very large cabinet of model warships, fascinating work, such skill.

Then, there was the Waterloo room. This had the two portraits of the Bonaparte brothers and a huge work depicting the Battle of Waterloo towards the end of the day, painted in 1824 by Jan Willem Pienneman. Wellington is the central figure (quite right too). To the left is an officer on horseback waving his hat, to signal the arrival of the Prussians (hooray). In the left foreground is a wounded officer on a litter, this is the Prince of Orange.

Postcard bought in the Museum shop

I must draw your attention to my favourite person in the painting, the senior French officer at the extreme left edge,. He looks seriously hacked off with the day's proceedings, he has what my gran called "a face like thunder". This is General Cambronne of the Old Guard, he of the famous "Mot de Cambronne". On seeing this, the thought "Ah, the Legion d'Honneur around his neck, I wonder how long he would keep that before someone relieved him of it". That bit of souvenir hunting would have made his day.....

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