Netherlands - An Introduction to Dutch Painters
The Netherlands is home to one of Europe’s fastest developing contemporary markets, but enthusiasts will know that this buzz of artistic activity is nothing new. These lands have had much to offer the art lover ever since the Dutch Golden Age, when the republic became the world leader in science, trade, and art, and gifted the world with some of its most treasured paintings.
On tour, we are privileged to be able to cast our eye over some of those paintings, many of them so iconic that they are recognisable even to the most casual observer: Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, Franz Hals’ The Meagre Company, all contained within the unparalleled Rijksmuseum. But it doesn’t stop there. Join us as we leap from the 17th century into the 19th to acquaint ourselves with The Netherlands’ most famous son, Vincent Van Gogh, and feast your eyes on his Almond Blossom and Sunflowers in the state-of-the-art Van Gogh Museum.
But paint isn’t the only medium in which the artistic Dutch excel, as is amply demonstrated on our visits to the Stedelijk Museum, an incredible space dedicated to modern and contemporary pieces and installations, and the town of Delft, world-famous for its delicate blue and white pottery. Add to this an exclusive out-of-hours exploration of the Rembrandt House Museum, some free time to explore all that Amsterdam has to offer, and a serene glide along its canals by private boat, and you have the makings of a perfectly composed holiday.
- Come face-to-face with the world’s finest examples of Dutch art, from Rembrandt and Vermeer to Van Gogh
- Set sail on a private boat trip along Amsterdam’s iconic canals
- Enjoy an exclusive, out-of-hours visit to the Rembrandt House Museum
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
Landing in Amsterdam, charming capital of the Netherlands, we waste no time in embarking on our artistic exploits. Beginning with a captivating introductory talk from our expert Guide Lecturer, we continue on to a very special out-of-hours visit to the Rembrandt House Museum, the historic house in which the great master lived and worked for some twenty years. We get up close to its reconstructed 17th-century interiors and view its exquisite collection of sketches and paintings away from the usual crowds.
We round off this remarkable day with our first dinner in the city as a group.
The jewel in the crown of Netherlandish art is undoubtedly the Rijksmuseum: founded in 1800, this is the largest and most prestigious museum in the country. We dive straight in with an exploration of its impressive collections this morning, viewing gems such as Rembrandt’s enchanting work The Night Watch, and The Milkmaid by Vermeer.
Following lunch we take to the water for a private boat trip along Amsterdam’s cherished canals – a chance to see the city’s sights from the most romantic of view points. Later we pay a visit to Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, otherwise known as Our Lord in the Attic Museum. Hidden behind an unassuming façade in the centre of the city, this historic canal house conceals a stunning attic church. Built for the Catholic community in 1663, this surprising find was a direct response to the banning of mass in the mid 16th-century, and is a tremendous testament to the independent spirit of the Dutch.
For our first stop this morning we skip forward to the 19th century, with a visit to the ultra-modern Van Gogh Museum, home to such much-loved and instantly recognisable creations as Sunflowers, Almond Blossom, and Irises – the largest collection of the artist’s work in the world.
Our next stop is the Stedelijk Museum, a light and airy space housing contemporary masterpieces and innovative installations, including works by Rothko, De Kooning, Matisse, and Chagall.
We pause for lunch, before travelling out to the village of Zaanse Schans. Here we find picture-perfect landscapes punctuated with traditional windmills, and streets lined with artisanal shops — the ideal place to pick up a hand-made pair of clogs, or simply observe a thoroughly traditional version of modern-day Holland.
After setting up for the morning with a filling breakfast, we make our way south to The Hague. This city may be famous for its royal and governmental ties, but there’s so much more to discover. Indeed, The Hague is a real cultural hotspot, bursting with fine mansions, museums and parks, with the added bonus of a beautiful North Sea coastline. Here we stop at the magnificent Maurithuis, a 17th-century palace housing an abundance of Golden Age artwork, including such stellar pieces as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Fabritius’ The Goldfinch.
This afternoon we drive to the city of Delft, renowned for its distinctive white and blue pottery, or “Delftware”. We enjoy an illuminating private tour of this world-famous factory, before returning to Amsterdam for our last night of fine Dutch cuisine.
On the morning of our final day, we wind down with some free time in the capital — our chance to visit Anne Frank Huis, take a stroll in the verdant Vondelpark, or simply watch the world go by at one of the city’s many charming cafes. After a morning enjoyed at our leisure, we transfer to the airport for our afternoon flight home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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