June 23, 2010

The Kröller-Müller Musuem

Last week I visited The Kröller-Müller Museum which is situated in the heart of the Hogue Valuwe National Park near the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands. The story behind this park is pretty fascinating. It was originally a great hunting ground at the turn of the century owned and operated by the Kröller-Müller family.

The lodge.

There is a shared bicycle system in the park.

All you have to do, once you pay the entrance fee, is hop on a bike and view the vast landscapes in the Hogue Valuwe, which ranges from desert-like sand dunes to green forests.

Theses lovely purple bell-flowers were scattered throughout the park. I wish I knew their name...

It's a lovely ride, and easy too - very flat.

Eventually, you end up at The Kröller-Müller Musuem. Does this look familiar?
K-Piece by Mark Di Suvero, 1972.

The collection of the Kröller-Müller was started and maintained by Helene Kröller-Müller. In 1905, she took an art appreciation course and began to collect the one of the largest, most-renown collections of modern art, including the second largest collection of van Gogh paintings and drawings.
Photo from here.

Let's take a look at the collection, shall we?

Perhaps the most famous painting in the collection: 
Terrace of a café at night (Place du Forum)
Vincent van Gogh, 1888

The man himself:
Self-portrait, 1887

Other van Gogh paintings that I saw: 
The Sower, 1888

Country road in Provence by night, 1890.

Portrait of Joseph Roulin, 1889

And my new favorite work by van Gogh:

La Berceuse (portrait of Madame Roulin), 1889

The red and greens in this portrait really captured my attention, but especially the detail and impasto of the background. Van Gogh's recreation of the wallpaper is intricate and lovely, much more so than the facial details of the sitter. The raised glob of white paint, dabbed where a diamond should be on her ring finger, is an interesting detail I noticed while standing in front of this painting.

These little nuances are undetectable in a book or poster. This is why I love museums. They are sacred spaces to me. I also love this aspect of museums -
They are incredible places to learn.

Ok, I am nearing the end of this post, but I have saved the best for last.

These last two works of art had me at hello.

Redon's Cyclops!
The cyclops by Odilon Redon, 1914(?)

I nearly fell on the floor when I turned the corner and saw this painting on the wall, because this painting  has always captured my attention, and perhaps my heart. I simply adore this painting for the subject matter and the surrealistic manner in which it is portrayed. This is not the evil monstrosity I usually imagine when I think of a cyclops, Redon's version is endearing.

And, last but not least: 
Trowel by Claes Oldenberg, 1971

I love Claes! His work always brings a smile to my face and makes me feel young at heart. He is definitely on my dinner party guest list. 

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I love Claes, too! It sounds like you have had an exciting couple of weeks, and I am jealous. :)