Private tour by an expert art historian in the Mauritshuis, the Royal Collection of Paintings, The Hague (Den Haag)

 

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Subjects: History, Art History and Architecture. Academic tour by scholar-lecturer, art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach*

Above: a detail of the celebrated View of Delft by Vermeer. The subject of my ground-breaking research. See my unfinished Thesis on Visual Perception:

The Mauritshuis, Royal collection of paintings in The Hague (Den Haag), is one of the jewel boxes of fine art in Holland. The Hague is the seat of Government of the Netherlands and therefore the seat of the embassies. The Hague is situated southwest of Amsterdam, where I live, and is just 1 hour drive away by train.

Among the most treasured museums in the world is this exquisite Mauritshuis. Relatively small in size, the museum is like a jewel box, and its holdings include important paintings by the Dutch masters Vermeer, Rembrandt, Hals, Steen, Potter and many others. In that sense it can be compared to the Frick Collection in New York City. Below the situation of the Mauritshuis after the 2014 expansion.

Mauritshuis and the annex building.

Rembrandt, the museum walls, revamped with cloth after a 2 year renovation.

 

Amazed response of these two little kids in seeing the dead body in the Anatomy lesson of Prof. Tulp [Tulip]. What goes on in their little minds? August 2014.

 

View up the stairwell and upper hall. Going left we will find the three Vermeer paintings.

 

In circles of art historians specializing in Dutch Seventeenth Century art, I am considered one of the key Vermeer experts and specialists worldwide, having done important ground breaking research and having published many findings in print and online. View of Delft, an analysis

 

One best ways of stimulating enhanced seeing and of the in-depth teaching I go for, is to show how Vermeer manipulated and altered elements of his compositions to suit expressive power. He also successfully manipulates the viewers mind and ways of seeing. Vermeer & perception

Below is just a small example I presented during a conference in Dublin: On the Officer and the Laughing Girl (Frick Gallery, New York City) Vermeer manipulated the coloring of the wall map by Van Berkenrode.

 

Left: as it should be, Sea = blue. But Vermeer chose another representation:

Above: as he actually colored it to improve a calm blending in with the background. The usual color key, blue = water was reversed by Vermeer to suit his artist's needs. This kind of toying with vision is key to reading and understanding Vermeer.

We will also discuss the Girl with the Pearl Earring and tell the story of the purchase and how it got to be this famous, as the Mona Lisa of the North.

The View of Delft, on which I did my 1980's research, deserves and in-depth discussion. See View of Delft, an analysis

And then finally Diana, the earliest Vermeer painting has fascinating elements which speak of his initial choices and qualities.

 

Mauritshuis photographed from a temporary platform on the water.

 

Near by in The Hague is the inner court of the Counts of Holland, now used as the Houses of Parliament. Above we see the Mauritshuis on the left and next to it the octagonal tower used by the Prime Ministe on the right.

A little further to the left is the tree-lined lane with stately Embassies. I will tell you stories about the flexible friendship between England and Holland and also about international intrigues. The French ambassador had a big ego and there is a wonderful story how two stately carriages coming from opposite sides got stuck face to face and nobody wanted to back down, losing face. A Dutch politicialcalled up to see what could be done, using modern lateral thinking, found an acceptable way out and defused that situation.

Various monuments and statues in the open air show how philosophers, kings, stadholders, politicians were viewed by later generations. These monuments sometimes framed and manipulated their actual role in Dutch history.

 

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SIDE TRIP TO GEMEENTEMUSEUM

The Hague is also known for its vast Municipal or Gemeente-museum, whose geometric-inspired yellow brick architecture is a masterwork by Dutch architect Berlage.

It houses the world’s best collection of the works of painter Piet Mondrian and the related works by De Stijl group.

Various other collections include fashion and design halls and an extremely fine 17th century dolls’ house.

The varied design and applied art collection includes Delkft pottery, various other design schools, and paintings.

The museum was founded with high ideals about the position of fine art in society: elevating the viewer's minds, particularly that of the lower and middle class citizens.

 

The Hague

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the key works is Victory Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondran, a man who loved jazz and the pace of modern life. He was into dance and into courting women.

 

 

 

ON THE GUIDE DRS KALDENBACH:

July 2013:

Ricardo N and his wife Francis S. live in New York City and are full-time NYC art aficianados, travelling the world and visiting most of the fine art centers in Europe. In June-July 2013 they toured for three full days with Drs Kees Kaldenbach.

Ricardo: "I would rate you as terrific. It is a great treat being with you - You saved my life in showing me the Mauritshuis collection - I thought it was completely closed!"

Francis N.: "Kees is outstanding... he has a very rare gift among any the great number of professional tour guide we met in our lifetime... in presenting a deep and very specific art history knowledge, and in combining this with passion and and easy going presentation.
My husband and I have spent our lives in the art world of NYC and the West Coast. We have rarely met such a wonderful guide. Kees is an outstanding fountain of visual knowledge and historic insight. He truly is top class within the field of Western art history!"

 

A visit to the new Town Hall by architect Richard Meier shows one of the largest cathedral-like lobby halls in Europe.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

The Hague is easy to reach with public transport, by train.I hold a Dutch Railways rebate card. For this train tour I can offer you a special rebate of 40% for three separate adult railway tickets. This makes it economical for you as clients. I can join you from your hotel or from the Amsterdam train station. Various other options are open to you: a) You can hire a car and drive it yourself, and I will join you starting in Amsterdam and will advise you about the best route. b) We can hire a professional taxibus service at around E 70 per hour for about 4 to 5 hours. On top of that you will pay me as the specialist guide. This is the more expensive option.

Practical matters

 

Tour duration: 2 to 3 hours. We may go on foot, by tram or by taxi.

 

As an art historian based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I can meet you in Utrecht for a personalized guided tour of art museums and the historic center.

Together we will experience the beauty and history . Enjoy yourself and learn about history while strolling and discussing the country's history, art and culture. In doing so, we may touch many bases - spanning not only fine art and architecture but also the city's history and current social issues. See client testimonials.

Read a biography.

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Starting at your hotel I will take you on a wonderful private cultural walking tour of your choice. My guided itinerary offers you accessable informative conversation in English, Dutch, or German.

Drs. Kaldenbach is chairman of the Circle of Academic Tour Guides of the Netherlands and Flanders (CATON)


You may also arrange this VIP treatment for business contacts or friends. Our cultural tour organisation office will take care of a unique and memorable experience.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours" *.

*Martha Gellhorn, Travels with Myself and another, p. 182.


Please contact me for time and fees of the tailor-made tour you ar interested in.

These tailor made tours are available upon request - please contact me to book a date. Minimum group size: 1 person. Maximum group size is limited to about 10 persons. With a megaphone I can also manage larger groups on the streets.


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Photo by Dick Martin.

 

 


Endorsements

I conduct Rembrandt walks in Amsterdam for the Netherlands Bureau of Tourism, London and New York City offices. These clients include important journalists.

The travel site www.luxurytraveler.com has devoted a main feature to my tours and walks.

Read further client testimonials.

 

Research presented in November 2014 about Mannheimer: he almost bought the best Vermeer: The Art of Painting (now in Vienna)


About Drs. Kees Kaldenbach:

Read a biography.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach has been featured in television and radio documentaries, including BBC2 TV, NTV Japan, Danish TV and Radio Netherlands World Service. In July 2004 he was interviewed about Delft artists the Nishinippon (Japan, 2012) and by Tetsuya Tsuruhara for the leading Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun. In 2004 and 2005 he acted in an advisory role to additional BBC teams. Kaldenbach has written extensively on Vermeer and 17th century Delft, also on Vincent van Gogh and on other art history topics.

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach is your private "scholar-lecturer on culture tours".

Further information is available on his encyclopedic web site: www.johannesvermeer.info

See the TV programme on Dutch national TV on Kees Kaldenbach as masseur and art historian. NPS Nederland 2, Saturday, November 25 2006. Go to the Dutch programme Vals Plat. Then move the horizontal bar at the bottom to the desired date. The first minute starts with a clown in a car. Then my 9 minute bit of fame. Audio track in Dutch.

 

Contact information:

Drs. Kees Kaldenbach , kalden@xs4all.nl

Haarlemmermeerstraat 83 hs

1058 JS Amsterdam

The Netherlands

telephone 020 - 669 8119 (from abroad NL +20 - 669 8119)

cell phone 06 - 2868 9775 (from abroad NL +6 - 2868 9775)

 

 

Reaction, questions? Read client testimonials.

Open seven days a week.

Member of the VVV Tourist information and the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel).

Email responses and bookings to art historian Drs. Kees Kaldenbach.

This page forms part of the 2000+ item Vermeer web site at www.xs4all.nl/~kalden

Launched April 15, 2014. Updated 14 february, 2017.