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More of Amsterdam

By November 10, 2017 Art, Color, Museums 4 Comments


This is the best picture I have taken here in Amsterdam. I had just come out of the Rembrandt House Museum, and crossed the street to take a photo of the canal and row of houses. I noticed the sky was getting very dark, but all of a sudden, the sun came out. And I spotted a bird flying over the canal: click!

Here is Rembrandt’s house:


It was quite a palatial home in the mid-1600s, since Rembrandt was already well recognized by the time he bought it, at age 33. The kitchen:

And the living room, or “salon” where he would welcome patrons and visitors:

By chance, I went on a good day, since there was a woman doing an etching demonstration in Rembrandt’s printing room:

And there was a man in Rembrand’s studio demonstrating how his paintbrushes were made, how canvas was prepared, and how, in the 1600s, paint was made from linseed oil and pigment:

Some pigments were so expensive that the painter would first paint a dress, for example, in paint made from less expensive pigment like red ochre, and then just lightly brush the more expensive paint made with vermillion pigment for the highlights. It gave an optical illusion that the entire dress was painted in vermillion. And Rembrandt and his students would be working on several paintings at once, and mix up a very small batch of the most expensive pigment, lapis lazuli blue, and apply it to all the paintings that needed it at once.

I walked through the city on the way home, and came across a fabric store, with a rainbow of buttons on display, that made me realize how much we take for granted the almost unlimited selection of colors available to us:

and a very limited selection of wool, most either in black and gray for making suits, or much too thick for most hooking:

Still, it was fun to find this store, and it was a good day.

4 Comments

  • Mary Miller says:

    That sounds like a wonderful day to me! And oh so interesting. I loved seeing Rembrant’s house. It reminds you that the Master was human just like you and me! Thanks for the awesome pictures. I enjoyed the trip⭐️

  • Bernadette says:

    Thanks for taking us along! Fun read and pictures!

  • Stephanie says:

    The pics are great. Thank you for sharing!

  • Janine says:

    So interesting to think of them making their own paint. I was at the diamond mine in Arkansas recently and there was a woman picking up all different kinds of stones. She said she ground them up and made paint from them. How fun!

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