You should never agree with yourself too often, at least that's what I'm thinking today, so I'd like to mention a few museums that are worth all of our time. Some readers may remember an anti-museum post
a little while ago, though more readers may have stopped reading after that one and are missing out on this mea culpa
There are plenty of very good museums in Amsterdam, but the three I visited were Van Gogh's, Rembrandt's, and Anne Frank's. Museums dedicated to one person tend to be really interesting; Picasso's museo
in Barcelona may be my favorite anywhere with work spanning from his childhood to old age.
But in Holland's capital I first stopped into Van Gogh's temple with work spanning seven of the ten short years he worked. In contrast to my experience with Picasso, I came away from Van Gogh's museum with less awe rather than more. The work we always see from Van Gogh (Starry Night, the sunflowers, the self portraits) hews to a familiar and wonderful style. But a fuller sampling of his work revealed a scattershot, groping attempt to find that style. One portrait looked like a rough Rembrandt, many like so-so Seurats. But they also helped you understand the steps he took to reach his own iconic style. Most striking to me was Pietà
(naar Delacroix), a painting of Mary and Jesus with a pallet so identical to Starry Night that it had to be put to canvas with the same physical paint (both were completed in 1889 but that's as far as my scholarship goes on this one).