Saturday, August 13, 2016

Invitation to the Dutch Art through the class activity

Coming this October until December, there will be an art exhibition of two art giants, Vincent van Gogh and Gauguin, in Tokyo. I wish I would be there to enjoy the exhibit!

Two's lives crossed for sometime in a certain place. Both lived together for two months in France because Van Gogh invited Gauguin to live together. But two strong personalities could not allow them stay together, eventually Gauguin left, which is one of factors causing Van Gogh psychological distress.


Information of the art exhibition reminded me my fascination to their artwork. Decades ago, when I saw the picture of Sunflower by Van Gogh on the art book, its distinct and intense yellow attracted me a lot. After that, speaking of Netherlands, for me it is the art.
( * Gauguin is French)  

Starting from Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the elder, in the golden age of Dutch art, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals are known by many even though you are not fun of the art. In the modern time, of course, Vincent van Gogh is well-known and very popular in my country, Japan too (that is the reason there is the exhibit).

Very brief history of Dutch art
On the process of independence from the Spain, religious art which was iconic one was destroyed. Addition to that, Calvinism denied impersonation of the art. The Calvinists revolved the holy icon destruction.

The church could not be a patron of the art any more. For long time, aside from the church, landlord and aristocrat were the patron. Later, the various patrons were involved. This bought the change to the art circle.

The artist draw the patron merchant as true to nature, ugly nude woman, homeless...these are not the objects of art before.

According to Nagasaka (2002, p138), the golden age of Netherlands demanded the art the most. Arts from Italy were sold to the European continent through Amsterdam market. Rembrandt had never been to Italy, but he could learn Italian arts by viewing various arts which went through  Amsterdam.

Rembrandt and others did not mind the popular art style. They drew various types, still-life painting, landscape, genre picture. Individual portrait evolved to group portrait. The one of the well-know work of Rembrandt is De Nachtwacht (actual title is De compagnie van kapitein Frans Banning Cocq en luitenant Willem van Ruytenburgh. ).

Imitating the Dutch artAppreciating the Dutch art and its novelty, in the class, we tried to imitate the great work of Dutch artists. But we did not draw, we did act and pose by following instruction.


Some of us volunteered themselves. These volunteers just followed instruction other group of people. The instruction was in Dutch. Volunteers moved and formed certain posture. Some volunteers might have noticed what was the art.

The below are two master pieces.

First one is De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters) by Van Gogh, and The Blinding of Samson by the Philistines by Rembrandt. I was the part of the second one. It was very enjoyable activity and reminded us great Dutch artists.

By the way, Van Goah stayed meanwhile in Drenthe, place where we had Dutch summer class. To commemorate this, there is Van Gogh Huis which allows us to know a part of his life.

Viva Dutch Art!

Van Gogh Huis

Other articles - Dutch summer school 2016 - 

1. Why I need to learn Dutch?
9. Class activity-Communicate in Dutch with local people: going to the Pancake house
12. Preparation-MUST do! before joining Dutch summer school
14. Epilogue:  After the camp - what remains

These are my view and experience...therefore, if you want to know more about the school, please visit the official website>> blc language course website
Tel: +31-648074618


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