Local Heart, Global Soul

June 1, 2016

Barometers and Bed Chambers… Oh La La !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before I leave the 17th century French Influences gallery of the Rijksmuseum, I want to take a look at a large four poster bed that has the most intricate embroidered covers and bed linen.

There is a perspex screen around it, I suppose not only to keep young visitors from jumping on it or older folks from taking a rest, but I suppose more to keep dust off it, after all cleaning a very large heavily embroidered five hundred year old bedspread would make any dry cleaner extremely nervous.

There are ornate golden statues around the bed, candlesticks maybe ? and a canopy around the four poster which is also heavily decorated.

Behind glass on a wall nearby there is a heavily carved piece, a frame (I think in ivory) for what I think is a glass barometer tube that runs to a bulb of mercury at the base.

The detail that has been achieved within such a small piece has to be seen to be believed, there is even a fully three dimensional coat of arms complete with rampant lions at the top of it.

There are also more examples of Delfts work here too, tiled panels, figurines and pots of all sizes  complete the rest of my tour here. Even though the Dutch were at war with France at the time that many of these items were made, it is a relief that the French influences still made it across the border, otherwise our culture would have been poorer for it. I know that the Rijksmuseum is a huge place and there is much to take in, but even a short visit if you are ever in Amsterdam to see a few of these things up close would be a few hours exceedingly well spent.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum

May 4, 2016

The Pleasant Surprises Keep Coming…

Visiting the Rijksmuseum and heading towards where the “Nightwatch” is located, visitors are first stunned by the expace of stained glass before them. Then they slowy become aware that the wall to their left is full of painted images. Again I had a low viewpoint sitting in the wheelchair, and my zoom lens simply could not do these pieces justice. There are also tiled panels in the floor depicting the seasons, ” Winter” and  “Herfst” (Autumn) are at this end of this large landing, Summer and Spring must be in the far corner. I mean to get back to these paintings and tiles later but there was so much to see I didn’t  manage it on this occasion. I’ve added this wall to my ” want to return to” list for the future, and managed to get these shots before my friends wheeled me away…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 1, 2016

If Only I Could Zoom In On Your Hidden Levels Of Promise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I visited the Rijksmuseum a couple of a months ago with two friends, and we arrived early because we overestimated the amount of traffic between The Hague and Amsterdam early on a Sunday morning.

Himself dropped us off and headed back home since art galleries and museums are not really his thing, my girl friends and I decided to look at the back side of the museum.

This wasn’t originally because we intended to do so, rather that despite the sunny day, it was so bitterly cold and windy that standing still was less of an option, even rugged up in warm clothes and coats.

Having reached the back entrance through the tunnel that goes through the ground floor of the building, we stop and take a look around.

The museum reaches back behind me to my left, the entrance to the tunnel running under the building covered by an ornate porch. To the right the decorative façade reaches upwards, and the more you look the more you see. Even the gates that close off the tunnel underneath the museum at night are beautifully ornate. There are stone carved pieces of various ages, some have been worn away by time, the one that contains the “Green Man” image in it’s foliage is difficult to estimate with regards to age, it could be an old one that’s been cleaned during the recent renovations, or it is a new addition because there is so much less wear than the other stone pieces.

On the other hand it’s more sheltered position has probably spared it a great deal from the elements. High up on the wall are two massive panels, made in tiles: the nearer one depicts what looks to be a crowd gathered at a roll call, the other I struggled to see well due to it’s height and angle but appears to be a King on a throne surrounded by the members of court. The detail is tantalisingly close but frustratingly too far away. It’s like a sweet (candy) placed just millimetres out of reach. I can see so much and I can see so little… Between these large tiled pieces are two smaller panels with inscriptions, these panels are framed in ornate stonework. The beautiful stonework continues down to the arched pieces at the top of the four windows on the lower floors. I’m going to invest in a far more powerful zoom lens and this wall is near the top of my list to come back to… preferably without the freezing temperatures that prevailed when these photographs were taken.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum

April 8, 2016

“Power Painting” At The De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer a long time friend of mine from New Zealand visited The Netherlands.

We met whilst working together in our early twenties and a fast friendship formed that has even survived my relocation to the other side of the world.

We spend quality time together every time our family is in New Zealand and this was her second trip to Europe, albeit with several decades difference. Her daughter (who I will refer to as “G” for reasons of internet privacy), who I first met when she was just a day old and visited on the first trip when she was four and a half years old is now all grown up and working on a special programme as an au pair in Germany.

Study options for G. in Europe were looked into but with the added cost of being an “International student”, work restrictions due to a non EU passport and the higher cost of living she decided that it was better to return to New Zealand to further her studies.

My friend, her Mum, decided that it would be an ideal moment for them to have a bit of special Mother / Daughter time together on this side of the world before her daughter’s time came to leave Europe and of course there was no thought of them skipping around my “neighbourhood” without coming to stay.

They arrived after a whirlwind tour in parts of the UK, and other various parts in Europe and the Dutch summer weather which had been a bit iffy picked up just as they hit our doorstep so we devised a plan that would involve an equal amount of rest and entertainment.

“G” studied Fine Art and is an accomplished artist, so the one must-do activity that we wanted to surprise them with was the possibility to paint their own Delftse tile. In the end it was a part surprise, do to some last minute necessary reorganisations to flights they had such a short time with us that I had to give them the dimensions and asked them to prepare their drawings for their tiles in advance.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch have painted tiles several times in Delft before, at the Royal Delft – De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles :each time with a different set of visitors so we have gotten to know the procedure quite well. Personally I have done the tour several times before (all previous to my accident) so I requested to skip to tour and just paint… the rest joined me after they had done the tour.

Because I know that at some time in the future I will probably be back here, I have made my tile to (eventually) be made of four parts that will fit together. Although I have not yet finalised the pattern for the other three tiles I have the over-all idea for them: columns on the left and right, on the left column containing the first names and birth date of Himself and then mine, on the right column the first names and birth dates of Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr.

In the centre there is an angel holding a banner that reads with our Surname, and the bottom an top just decorated in free hand. (I started with Himself and have edited the photographs to protect our privacy) Kiwi Daughter went with a rather last minute design, Little Mr knew immediately that he want to paint a police car (Many Thanks to the internet for his design inspiration), “G” had a stunningly intricate Wine / Wijn / Vino / Wein tile of her own design and my friend went with a beautiful symmetrical classical design.

The painting is harder and takes longer than it looks… the three of us who had more detailed designs were rushing to get them done within our allotted time, talk about power painting!!! Of course afterwards the tiles have to be taken away to be fired so we get them in the post in our respective countries later on. Stupidly I can not lay my hands on the photographs of what the New Zealand ones turned out like after firing, but will add them if I find them later. After this rather intensive morning we retired to home to rest and catch up on a lot of gossip! I got a few photographs of Delft from the car window… and we really needed one hundred times more time, but loved every second of what we had. We had a blast so I just hope it doesn’t take nearly as long before they can make a return visit !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The paint looks more like ink, is black when it goes on and will be blue after the tile is fired…It also soaks in immediately so there is zero possibility to “rub out” any mistakes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We literally shook from all of this concerted concentration so it’s little wonder we needed a little sugar afterwards and also why I could barely manage to take a sharp photograph…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Letting Your Own Delfts Blauw Creativity Loose…

October 16, 2015

De Passage, Den Haag: So Much More Than A Passageway…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is a unique shopping area in the Hague that charms both locals and tourist alike.

Effectively it is a small covered street, where the roof is largely made of glass and is both a shopping street and a well used short-cut for pedestrians between the busy streets of Spuistraat, Hofweg and Buitenhof.

You might well image that this is a recent addition to the Hage city centre, but far from it, “de Passage” is the oldest shopping center in the Netherlands and ranks among the Top 100 of Dutch UNESCO monuments.

I’ve translated information from Wikipedia (Dutch language entry only) in italics, and link to websites below.

“Passage” (pronounced “Par saar je”) “was commissioned in 1885 by the NV ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Passage Society, which was co-founded by the famous Hagenaar Petrus Josephus the Sonnaville (1830 to 1925), also one of the founders of the Kurhaus in Scheveningen.

The original passage of 1885 runs from Spuistraat towards the Buitenhof. In 1929 Hofweg was added to the pedestrian area. The oldest part (the Spuistraat- Buitenhof and arm) was built by architects Herman Wesstra Jr. and JC van Wijk according to an international orientated Renaissance style, while the later part towards Hofweg is built in an expressionist style.”

Where the three different “points” of the Passage meet together, there is a round tower-like effect topped off with a glass dome in the roof. The patterns are captivating and over the years whenever I walked though it, it was highly likely that you could spy someone with a camera pointed upwards towards the dome, straining to get all of it into the photograph, or pointing the camera downwards at the stunning inlaid marble centerpiece directly benieth the center of the dome. There are apartments above the shops, and the only bar to getting a great photograph are the special nets stretched across the open area towards the roof to stop any birds that fly in from getting trapped inside. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture so let’s take a look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 The Passage, Den Haag
Offical Website De Passage

August 20, 2015

Hey, Look What I Found On The Floor!!!

Several years ago I visited the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht and in it, found a building that is a surprise and delight to anyone who adores pattern and detail. These are a few of the tiles I found in the floor… and considering that most Basilicas and churches at this time had only plain paving stones or slate… these really stand out. Yes, of course these are probably Victorian additions, but stunning all the same… For my foodie friend and regular reader Carrie: this post is for you….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 Basilica of Saint Servatius / Maastricht

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