Wednesday, 1 May 2013

High Art of the Low Countries: Daydreams & Nightmares

Here's the final part of High Art of the Low Countries featuring Van Gogh, Mondrian, Magritte and Delvaux. Wheatfields, Lines, Raining Men and Nudes talking to skeletons - you get allsorts in Belgium and the Netherlands! {See Part 1: Dreams of plenty and Part 2: Boom & Bust}

You can't go wrong with a bit of Van Gogh, from the harshnesses of potato eating peasants to beautiful still lifes that are almost self portraits and the glorious sunshine landscapes of the South of France:


all these works can be seen at The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
{When I visited 10 yrs ago the famous Sunflowers were on loan to a museum in Tokyo! So check beforehand if you really want to see something specific}

Love this photo of Piet Mondrian, working out angles maybe or composition?!
 I love Mondrian's final style, but how did he get there? Here's some earlier works...

...Moving into abstraction...
 at the Gemeente museum, The Hague

A visit to the ocean helped push him into complete abstraction, where pier wooden blocks became more interesting in forming grid-like structures than appearing as what they are.

at the Kroller Muller Museum, Otterlo

 at the Gemeente museum, The Hague

{see the Gemeente Museum's huge online collection of Mondriaan's work, to uncover beautiful pencil drawings, portraits and landscapes [I love this zelfportret of his])

And everyone needs a bit of surrealism/ mystery in their life, and who better than Rene Magritte to fill the hole:


 The Dominion of Light and Sky Bird at the Magritte Museum, Brussels

 Golconda at the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas

and even more surreal are these paintings by Paul Delvaux of nudes talking to skeletons amongst other things:

The Iron Age | The Musee Spitzner
{couldn't find out where these are, anyone know?}

The Focus Tombs at the Paul Delvaux Museum, St Idesbald, Belgium 

Sleeping Venus at Tate Modern, London

and this amazing private mural is in someone's house!

What Belgium and Netherlandish art do you want to see?

{all images via the episode on BBCiplayer}

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