Today we went to Het Mauritshuis and Het Gemeente/Fotomuseum in The Hague. It was a day full of inspiration, examples (both how to and how not to), people.. Lots of people. Well, at least at Het Mauritshuis, where 2 classes and a group of tourists were guided through the 2 floors full of paintings. Well, I don't want to report the situation, I want to talk about some paintings/pictures I liked, starting with the paintings in Het Mauritshuis.
Jan Brueghel the Elder & Hans Rottenhammer - Christus descending into Limbo
The reason why I like this picture must be the contrast in the painting with the dark/light in it. The scenery itself is quite detailed and is quite literally. It doesn't give that much space about the meaning of it. It's quite straight to the point and most people will directly see what idea the artist had.
Willem van de Velde the Younger - Ships in the roads
In this painting there are things I like and things I like less. First thing I have to say is, and that's one of the 2 reasons why I chose this one to write about, the technique being of very high quality. The details in the painting are very well done. The ropes of the ships, the sails, the flags. All those things are very detailed. Second reason to chose this painting is something I didn't like that much. When you put aside the amazing technique and look to the painting itself, what's on it, it doesn't say very much to me. Just a couple of ships that are being packed or unpacked, with a city in the background. The image itself is, in my opinion, quite boring.
Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem - Travellers attacked by brigands
The reason why this painting got my attention must be the same as with the first picture. The contrast in it is quite there. The white horse, the smoke and the sky against the darker troops and shadows. All attention goes to the main action on the painting: the men on the horses shooting at close distance. The fallen troops on the front make it a more dramatical scenery. This is quite in contrast with the good weather. I think this painting wouldn't stand out this much when it didn't have this much contrast in it. The details in the picture are quite good. Technically it's one of the better paintings of a battlefield I've seen.
Willem van Haecht - Apelles painting Campaspe
This is the last painting I want to draw some attention to. It's not just one painting. It's a painting containing about 50 paintings in it, piece by piece very detailed by itself. You can keep looking at the painting and seeing new things all the time. The big painting on the left, just above the table, has quite some depth in it. The painting on the right with the 2 men talking looks more like a look through the window than it looks like a different painting. The hall in the back has quite some detail in it as well. Some of the paintings in this piece of art are actually in Het Mauritshuis as well.
After the visit to Het Mauritshuis we went for a lunch and after that we went to Het Gemeente/Fotomuseum. There we've seen photo's from The Photo Academy Award 2011. It was a mix of all kind of styles. Documentary, portrait, abstract, series, single pictures, stop-motion and lots more. Can't find much of the pictures I've seen on internet so I'll link some of the photographers' websites here.
Sjoukje van Gool (www.sjoukjevangool.com): Really liked her serie where a girl becomes part of the forest. I really like the way she uses the natural light instead of using artificial light. It makes the picture quite natural to look at.
Barry van Leeuwen (www.bvlfotografie.nl): Quite interesting techniques have been used to make the result look better and more authentic. Those photo's aren't just portraits. It's all the details that make it complete. The use of the light, the background, the technique that makes it look older. It all matches.
Mark Nettenbreijers (www.mn71.com): Really love his serie "Heimwee". Those photos in the forest aren't just pictures. They've got a very strong emotion in it. He wanted to go back to basics, to go to places where none has ever been before. He did a good job looking for the right elements in the picture, the good light and using the colors in a good way.
Enough inspiration for a while. Really had to put this blog online. Hope you'll find the same inspiration I did, looking at those pictures. I hope you'll have the possibility to see the pieces of art for real. For more information you can check the following sites: http://www.mauritshuis.nl/ and http://www.photoacademyaward.com/