Sitting on a boat watching the ocean go by, it was pretty easy to find opportunities to put my feet up, order tea and scones, and blog. Driving from the wrong side of a car, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, some narrower than Minnesota bike paths, watching the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the Isle of Wight go by, I barely have time to shift gears. So the blog is way behind where we are. Where we are is Dorchester, Dorset, UK, having spent time in Amsterdam, Brugge, Caen, and Newport since last we spoke.

When we started we intended to spend the week in and around Amsterdam, watching tulips grow. We managed to tear ourselves away from The Hague for one of those seven days. Obviously, we barely scratched the surface of Amsterdam; we will return.

We wandered the streets a bit; always a bit more than we intended, crossed several canals, dodged a lot of bicycles, and saw some memorable art. There were some accomplished artists who lived here; one who like painting himself.


Here is one that tried to get as much of other people’s work in as he possibly could.


Both of these are in the Rijks Museum. I’m not sure how common a name Rijks is but Rembrandt’s name was actually Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Ritn but nobody ever asks, “Rembrandt who?”

We spent some time, back in Den Haag, at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, which is dedicated to Piet Mondriaan and the boys in his band, collectively know as “De Stijl”, which gave us Neoplasticism. In its purest form, it uses a white background, primary colors, and straight vertical and horizontal lines, placed with contemplation but not calculation. It has abstracted truth down to its essence.

“Victory Boogie Woogie” is unfinished (if you couldn’t tell, not because of the dotted lines; they are part of the Boogie Woogie motif).

What else can I say?

De Stijl artists worked in a much broader arena than just painting. They were also important in architecture and interior design, probably influencing Ralph Rapson locally in Minnesota. Here, for example, is a parking garage that was never built.

De Stijl Car Park Model

And the museum cafe, where we did eat.


Doré is at the third table from the top in the left column.

One thought on “Amsterdam

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