Tag Archives: Dutch

Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – A Moving Tribute to my Favorite Artist

The Potato Eaters
Source: worldartresources.com

Vincent Van Gogh is my most favorite painter.  No ifs or buts.  While I am absolutely in awe of so many different artists, Van Gogh occupies a very special place in my mind and heart.  My first exposure to him was with the “Sunflowers” series of paintings.  Was it my favorite color yellow that drew me in?  Was it the random positioning of the flowers? Was it the distinctive brushstrokes?  Hard to tell, except from that point on looking up his sketches and paintings and reading his letters to his brother Theo became a journey.

And then came my maiden trip to Amsterdam.  I could barely curtail my excitement as I landed up at the Van Gogh Museum.  My husband knew about my obsession.  My father in law probably thought I was a bit crazy to tear up at the sight of a museum.  But, it was a truly special moment for me and what came next was simply awesome.

Do you ever get the feeling from reading about someone or someplace that when you walk in there, everything feels like Deja Vu?  Well, even though I had never set foot in the museum, I felt like I had already been there….many times.

It is very difficult for me to say what the “ultimate” memory was.  To me, it was a gift to be able to see his paintings and drawings up close, to see the brush strokes, to see the vividness of the colors, to experience his madness and his spirit.  There are a few paintings that struck an emotional chord more than others.

– The drawing “The Head of a Woman” which was a prelude to his Potato Eaters along with the actual painting were incredibly moving simply because they were his earliest works at authenticity and very much unappreciated.

– His “Self Potrait of An Artist” when seen up close reflects such intensity and pain in his eyes, that it feels like he is right there a century later.

– An absolutely joyous “Sunflowers” which made me feel like the flowers were on a dancing journey in the vase.

– I’m not sure what the “Skull of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette” was meant to convey, but to me it seems like Van Gogh was trying to convey irony, art and some self wit in this work.

– And last but not least, “Wheatfield with Crows”, mentioned to be his last painting.  This was the final painting on my journey and it did its job in flashing the life of an unfulfilled genius through my mind bringing me to tears.

Whether or not you are a Van Gogh fan, if you are ever in Amsterdam, do spend some time at this lovely museum.    It is a beautiful building and an amazing lesson on life and art.  I have been back on every visit and each one opens up one more little known aspect of my most favorite artist on planet earth.

To learn more about the Vincent Van Gogh Museum, click here:


The Amsterdam Dungeon- An Interactive Horror Adventure

By Siddhi: 

Who?  For the thrill-seekers in Amsterdam who want to venture into a dark and graphic tapestry of a city whose history has been painted by terror in its early ages.

What? The Amsterdam Dungeon, an 80 minute multimedia exploration consisting of live actors putting on simulations, a ride, a movie, twisted history depictions, mazes, and uber realistic, hair-raising renditions of some of the most frightening torture methods and scenarios in Dutch history.

How?  The Dungeon is located very close to Dam Square at Rokin 78, 1012 KW, Amsterdam. The walk from Central Station to the site is about fifteen minutes long. You can also take either the 4, 9, 15, 16, or 24 tram lines to the Rokin stop.

Why? Usually, these companies that try to hyperbolize a situation and turn it into often hokey entertainment aren’t that appealing to me. But because we had some extra time in the city, we decided to give the Amsterdam Dungeon a shot, especially since I am such an immense fan of anything that markets itself as an adrenaline pumper in hopes that for even just a little bit, I’ll experience something sensual. And the Dungeon didn’t disappoint. I was whisked through five centuries of terrifying Dutch history encompassing the deadly Spanish Inquisition and the Great Plague among other keystone periods. What I had learned about in the textbooks of my eighth grade world history class was now being manifested in a thrilling experience. There are several attractions that bring to life the horror, including an interrogation scene called Torture: The Bloody Inquisition, a dock bar presentation called VOC, an excellent maze of mirrors titled Labyrinth of the Lost, and a roller coaster called Reaper: Drop Ride to Doom that takes you through the world of the Grim Reaper in the 13th century and provides a fantastic finale to the the whole adventure. For what we paid, the Amsterdam Dungeon was not only exhilarating, but also informative. It’s definitely an experience worth checking out if you want to do something unusual in the city.

To learn more about the Amsterdam Dungeon, you can visit their site here: