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27-February-2015

Spanish Masters in Amsterdam

The ‘Spanish Masters from the Hermitage. The world of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya’ exhibition can be admired in the Hermitage until 29 May. This exhibition draws attention to the broader context of painting in the Spanish Golden Century (second half of the sixteenth and the seventeenth century) and the echoes and continuation in subsequent centuries.

Spanish masterpieces were created during the reign of Philip II, the absolute monarch of a colonial empire who enforced strict rules for Catholic paintings. The period that followed was dominated by artists including Francisco de Zurbáran, also known as the Spanish Caravaggio.

A great many aspects of Spanish history are highlighted in this collection, such as the horrors of Napoleon’s conquest in 1808, bullfighting and Mediterranean pub life. The variation of the exhibition is also expressed in the alternation of Spanish painting styles: Baroque, Rococo, dramatic realism and spiritual minimalism.

De Druif

dedruif.nl

Having a drink in this bar is rubbing imaginary shoulders with some of Holland’s biggest naval heroes. Aptly named the grape it’s been in this location for more than 400 years. And that location used to be right in the middle of Amsterdam’s seafaring activities. Hundreds and maybe thousands of sailors have had their jenevers in this bar. Some of them mere blinks in the path of history, others like Piet Hein and Michiel de Ruyter – who lived around the corner – pivotal in the rise of the Dutch nation. Have one of those jenevers and imagine what it most have been like for those guys, setting sail to the great unknown in wooden ships, just like the one you can see moored of the side of the National Maritime Museum.

Of course, they also serve beer.

Michiel de Ruyter lived around the corner of De Druif.

Tip

Being one of the oldest bars in Amsterdam doesn’t keep De Druif from having a wonderful terrace looking out over canal: truly a wonderful place to enjoy a balmy summer evening