Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Van Gogh Museum

Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. My wife Minche and I visited the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It is one of the finest museums dedicated to the work of one artist that I have seen. Approximately 200 of his paintings and a vast collection of letters and some drawings are in the museum. You follow his at once fabulous and tortured life story from beginning to tragic end.

There are a lot of paintings that I saw that I appreciated more than his most famous ones, which are featured in every art history book. The above painting "Landscape at Twilight 1890" is one of the most remarkable and beautiful paintings I have ever seen -- but you really need to see it in person and from about 10 to 20 feet away. It is at a distance that Van Gogh's colorful technique has its greatest impact; standing right in front of the painting doesn't do it.

In addition to the Van Goghs, there is a nice small collection of art from his contemporaries from the end of the 19th and the early 20th centuries.

Van Gogh is a guy who has put Rembrandt and the other high Dutch Renaissance painters in the shade, whose art is at the Rijksmuseum about 300 meters away. A very impressive performance.

Jazz Soprano at Paris

Jessye Norman at the Olympia in Paris June 2012. My wife and I saw jazz soprano Jessye Norman sing the jazz and supper club standards at the great Paris music hall, the Olympia, on a Tuesday night in June on our Paris trip. These were standards from the Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and other American greats. Plus the Josephine Baker classic, "Deux Amours." (Two Loves). I thought her rendition of the Ellington classic "Stormy Weather" was one of the best I ever heard.

Very memorable to sit in this music auditorium where Edith Piaf gave her last concert and where Mireille Mathieu and other greats gave such magnificent performances. It is to sit and listen to the melody of Paris float by.