van gogh paints a bridge

Uncategorized Jun 11, 2024

One of my “bucket list” items for our stay in Amsterdam was to visit the Anne Frank Museum, but I missed the window of opportunity to get my tickets.  Every Tuesday tickets go on sale for six weeks hence, and you can only buy them on line.  You mustn’t dally if you want to order them.

My second choice was to see the Van Gogh Museum.  Van Gogh was such a distinctive painter that I thought I knew his work.  But seeing the progression of how he changed his approach to painting was so intriguing.  In one year, he went from painting in a classical style to experimenting with complimentary colors and line and finding “his voice”.  Suddenly, his work began to reflect movement and dynamism.  What was Van Gogh trying to do?

Van Gogh began his adult life intending to be a minister, but soon found his calling in art.   When you see the way in which he treated the most ordinary of objects, boots and bridges, peasants and potato-eaters, you begin to see that he is giving them a vibrancy that is anything but ordinary.  It is as if he is pulling down heaven into the most mundane of things, saying, “See, how every object, every person displays the glory of God!”  And he does it so emphatically.

So many pictures inspired me, but one in particular caught my attention: this painting of a drawbridge over one of Holland’s canals.  I’ve placed his painting side by side with an actual bridge of the same construction.  One might pass by such a bridge and miss its beauty, but Van Gogh won’t let you.

Love, Liz

“Love of what you do is unmistakable in the care with which you do it… seen in the way in which an artist applies the final touch of paint to his canvas.”  Alexander McCall Smith