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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.

Gassan Diamonds

gassan.com

Diamond cutting has a long history in Amsterdam and nowhere does this history become more alive that in the huge Gassan Diamond factory. Visitors are offered free tours and those are truly dazzling experiences. You will learn all about the different shapes and cuts, you can see the actual diamonds being cut and you can sit in private rooms where the sales people of Gassan will show you real big stones from real close. And then of course there are a multitude of shops that offer bling in all kinds of price ranges, from a hello kitty trinket to the newest and shiniest Rolex. 

During your visit you can watch real cutting in action.

If you feel the urge to buy something, here's your chance. You wont find a bigger collection of stones and accesories in the whole of Amsterdam.

Tip

Take a boat to Gassan, they moor off the back of the building and it’s only a small step inside. 

The entrance at the back of Gassan is reachable by boat.