• Deborah Kade

Amsterdam, The Netherlands Van Gogh Museum

Every morning, there is a wonderful breakfast buffet served on floor 17, the top floor. Great food and an exceptional view of the city and the surrounding area. Breakfast choices are abundant. There are cereals, eggs, meats, sausages, bacon, salads, fruits, rice, beans, cheeses, breads, pastries, waffles, jams, jellies, yogurts, etc. The list goes on and on. My favorite breakfast choice is the little Dutch pancake, also known as poffertjes These lovely little morsels are very addictive and lovely served piping hot with either a type of molasses syrup (I think that is it), maple syrup and/or powdered sugar. I have learned vanilla ice cream is usually served with it. Be careful though as one serving is never enough!

Here is the recipe.

2 cups self-raising flour sifted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 pinch salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

3 eggs

maple syrup or molasses syrup

powdered sugar

vanilla ice cream


Combine flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl.

Add milk and water and mix with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping sides if necessary.

Add eggs and mix until combined and smooth.

Heat poffertje pan and lightly grease indentations

Add the mixture until holes are full.

Cook for a few minutes then turn over.

Poffertjes are cooked when they are golden brown and puffy.

Remove from pan and drizzle with maple syrup or molasses syrup, powdered sugar and ice cream.

Serve immediately.

If you don't have a poffertje pan, you could simply just add tablespoons of the mixture onto a skillet and carefully turn.

I don't think I need another gadget or pan so I think I will use the tablespoon method. If that doesn't work, I guess I will just have to come back to Amsterdam to pick one up.

My sister emailed and told me I can get the gloriosa bulb on Amazon. Yeah!!! What can't you get on Amazon?

Coffeeshops in Holland are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis and are strictly regulated and taxed. Furthermore, coffeeshops must not sell to anyone under 18 and they must not sell more than 5g to any customer. Hard drugs are strictly prohibited. You can not imagine the number of people frequenting these places.

I spent some time shopping this morning. Yes, I said shopping. I know it is hard to believe!! We have no room in the suitcase we took from Switzerland so I am having the things shipped. If you ship, they take off the tax. It almost came out evenly.

I also booked a tour of the countryside for tomorrow. Michael has to work so I may as well do something different. Our flight back to Switzerland does not depart until 8 PM. It is a two hour flight to Zurich and then a two hour train ride to Interlaken so I will not be doing a posting for Monday until Tuesday.

There were so many activities happening around the city this morning. There was a running event starting at the Centraal Train Station and a biking event at the Dam.

I even found some more symbols of Amsterdam around the city.

Michael is working at the trade show so I am off to the Vincent Van Gogh Museum.

The Van Gogh Museum is an art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries here in Amsterdam. It is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concert-gebouw.


Stedelijk Museum


Van Gough Museum

No pictures are allowed in the museum except for a couple places where they have the paintings projected on the wall.

The lady whom I picked up the audio guide said I could get through the tour in one and a half hours if I used the audio guide and 45 minutes just walking through. Really???? I spent four hours and I feel as though I only scratched the surface. I had a wonderful afternoon, though!! I would have spent more time exploring but it was nearing closing time.

I took the time to listen to the guide for the suggested paintings. I then read the description beside the picture and I even took time to jot down some notes so I can refer back to them when I may want to do some more research.


Here are the notes I wrote from the audio guide.

The flowers seem to glow.

Van Gogh used bright bold colors and light.

The painting is yellow with yellow with yellow. All different kinds of one color. Three tints of yellow.

He considered sunflowers to be earthy, humble flowers. Nothing fancy.

Van Gogh wanted to be known as thee painter of sunflowers.

Sunflowers are a simple subject.

He felt there was a feeling of power in the flowers.

There is also a feeling of simplicity.

Van Gogh painted 5 versions of Sunflowers.

Vincent Willem van Gogh ( March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art. In just over a decade he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, most of them in the last two years of his life in France, where he died. They include landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits, and are characterized by bold colors and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork that contributed to the foundations of modern art. His suicide at 37 followed years of mental illness and poverty.

Born into an upper-middle-class family, Van Gogh drew as a child and was serious, quiet and thoughtful. As a young man he worked as an art dealer, often traveling, but became depressed after he was transferred to London. He turned to religion, and spent time as a Protestant missionary in southern Belgium. He drifted in ill health and solitude before taking up painting in 1881, having moved back home with his parents. His younger brother Theo supported him financially, and the two kept up a long correspondence by letter. His early works, mostly still lifes and depictions of peasant laborers, contain few signs of the vivid color that distinguished his later work. In 1886, he moved to Paris, where he met members of the avant-garde, including Émile Bernard and Paul Gauguin, who were reacting against the Impressionist sensibility. As his work developed he created a new approach to still lifes and local landscapes. His paintings grew brighter in color as he developed a style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in the south of France in 1888. During this period he broadened his subject matter to include olive trees, cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh suffered from psychotic episodes and delusions and though he worried about his mental stability, he often neglected his physical health, did not eat properly and drank heavily. His friendship with Gauguin ended after a confrontation with a razor, when in a rage, he severed part of his own left ear. He spent time in psychiatric hospitals, including a period at Saint-Rémy. After he discharged himself and moved to the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers-sur-Oise near Paris, he came under the care of the homeopathic doctor Paul Gachet. His depression continued and on July 27, 1890, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest with a revolver. He died from his injuries two days later.

"Van Gogh was unsuccessful during his lifetime, and was considered a madman and a failure. He became famous after his suicide, and exists in the public imagination as the quintessential misunderstood genius, the artist "where discourses on madness and creativity converge". His reputation began to grow in the early 20th century as elements of his painting style came to be incorporated by the Fauves and German Expressionists. He attained widespread critical, commercial and popular success over the ensuing decades, and is remembered as an important but tragic painter, whose troubled personality typifies the romantic ideal of the tortured artist."

The museum opened on June 2, 1973. It is located in buildings designed by Gerrit Rietveld and Kisho Kurokawa. The museum's collection is the largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings in the world.

Upon Vincent van Gogh's death in 1890, his work not sold fell into the possession of his brother Theo. Theo died six months after Vincent, leaving the work in the possession of his widow, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger. Selling many of Vincent's paintings with the ambition of spreading knowledge of his artwork, Johanna maintained a private collection of his works.

The collection was inherited by her son Vincent Willem van Gogh in 1925, eventually loaned to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam where it was displayed for many years, and was transferred to the state-initiated Vincent van Gogh Foundation in 1962.

Design for a Van Gogh Museum was commissioned by the Dutch government in 1963 to Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld. Rietveld died a year later, and the building was not completed until 1973, when the museum opened its doors.

In 1998 and 1999, the building was renovated by the Dutch architect Martien van Goor and an exhibition wing by the Japanese modernist architect Kisho Kurokawa was added.

Starting in late 2012, the museum was closed for renovations for six months. During this period, 75 works from the collection were shown in the Hermitage Amsterdam.

On September 9, 2013, the museum unveiled a long-lost Van Gogh painting that spent years in a Norwegian attic believed to be by another painter. It is the first full-size canvas by him discovered since 1928. Sunset at Montmajour depicts trees, bushes and sky, painted with Van Gogh's familiar thick brush strokes. It can be dated to the exact day it was painted because he described it in a letter to his brother, Theo, and said he painted it the previous day July 4, 1888.

Almond Blossom

My notes on Almond Blossom

Looks like a jigsaw puzzle

There is a thick branch on the bottom with blue stripes.

You eye starts at the branch and moves up to the glittering turquoise sky

Branches come in from sides and the top of the painting as well as the bottom.

Where was Van Gogh standing when he painted this? Was he lying down under the tree?

Van Gogh received news his brother and sister-in-law were having a baby whom they named Vincent.

This painting was a gift to his brother and wife.

The painting was to be hung in the bedroom.

Almond blossoms were in bloom at the time the baby was born.

Blossoming flowers are a celebration of life.

Baby Vincent grew up to be the founder of this museum.

Other paintings that were projected onto the wall so you could photograph.

The Museum Quarter is a beautiful area.

I had a little time so I walked around the Rijksmuseum. What a beautiful building!!! I wonder how many people look up and see the outside and gardens of this magnificent museum?

The gardens surrounding the Rijksmuseum were just as stunning as the building.

Children just love to play in water.

One of the I amsterdam signs is located at the Museum Quarter.

They even have a bench.

Neither Michael nor I wanted to venture far from the hotel tonight so we just had something to eat on the "17th floor". We started with a Dutch specialty: a veal croquette. I even splurged and had a Radler- one half beer and one half lemonade.

Do Not Forget: No Posting for Monday!!

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