Paint Your Way Back in Time with a DUTCH RIVER ART TOUR

by Carol
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Do you love art? Are you a painter or art collector? On this 10-day art appreciation tour by canal boat, you will weave your way through Holland’s rich tapestry of history as seen through an artist’s eyes. You will travel in the footsteps of renowned Dutch artists including Rembrandt, Vermeer and van Gogh, and discover both how they created their art, and intimate secrets of their lives.

Dutch Canadian artist and award-winning art instructor Jeanne Krabbendam takes small groups of women (9-12) off the beaten track into the tranquil countryside, to vibrant modern cities, and within quiet, historic villages of the Netherlands with only one purpose: creative inspiration. While travelling onboard Schip Josefien, Jeanne offers step-by-step painting classes revealing the Old Masters’ techniques, and while touring galleries, museums and historic sites, she and other experts (only available through Jeanne) provide both informative and intriguing art history lectures.

The Dutch River Art Tour includes all meals (traditional Dutch cuisine), art room with all supplies, side trips and museum excursions, floating accommodation — and scenery not visible by other modes of transportation.

The tour offers a historic timeline: Beginning with The Golden Age’s Rembrandt, you then experience Dutch Masters such as Frans Hals in Haarlem and Vermeer, and then Impressionists van Gogh and Monet, followed by modern artists Appel and Chagall, and ending with contemporary artists Richter and Dumas.

Along Amsterdam’s 100 kilometers of canals, you will reach Douwes Fine Art Restorations and go behind-the-scenes to watch co-owner Erick Douwes carefully remove varnish on a 17th century portrait (exclusive through Jeanne). You will tour Rijksmuseum, the country’s signature attraction. It is breathtaking, beautiful, overwhelming, and pays homage to Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen — and Rembrandt van Rijn who rules here with works like The Night Watch and The Jewish Bride. You visit Rembrandthuis Museum, retracing the steps where Rembrandt lived in the mid1600s, looking just as he left it, and watch a demonstration of how he made his paints.

Travelling to Haarlem, where many Golden Age Dutch painters worked, you will visit the Frans Hals Museum. Housed in men’s quarters built in 1609, the largest collection of Hals hangs within its chambers. Through locks between Haarlem and Leiden, you will meander past landscape-painting-perfect countryside, and then moor in Gouda, built during the Middle Ages. In Rotterdam, you tour Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, guided by a professor of art history (available only through Jeanne). Here, conceptual art from today collides with Rubens and Salvador Dali. In The Hague, you will be guided by the Dutch Government’s HR manager (exclusive through Jeanne), who works in the 15th century parliament buildings surrounding the Mauritshuis Museum and King Willem-Alexander’s Palace. Mauritshuis, originally home to a 17th century count, now showcases Johannes Vermeer’s remarkable Girl with a Pearl Earring and landscape View of Delft, Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson and haunting Self-Portrait, and Carel Fabritius' famous The Goldfinch.

You will stop to take in 19 windmills dotting a country field at the World Heritage Site Kinderdijk, and then wander the Brigadoon-like port town of Schoonhoven. In the Dutch National Park, De Hoge Veluwe, you will tour its grounds by bicycle before reaching Kröller Müller Museum, considered “a second home to Vincent van Gogh” because it boasts 90 of his paintings. Back in Amsterdam, you will visit the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art for all things contemporary after a quick trip to the Van Gogh Museum.

Jeanne concludes, “Art appreciation tours and instruction educate our eyes to become more discerning, both for collectors seeking quality and artists learning to create more comprehensive work. Although some participants do go home with very nice paintings, this trip is more about understanding what the artist sees, and how they accomplish their work. Learning about techniques and actually trying them within hours after seeing a masterpiece gives insight about them as people.”

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