Posts Tagged With: Art

Eye catching (Or: BlowUp Art in The Hague)

This past May The Hague was host to an art festival called BlowUp Art. The festival was an initiative of Pulchri Studio. I previously wrote a blog post about the sculptures they had placed on the Lange Voorhout.

Here is a look at one of the six creations featured in the BlowUp Art festival:

This piece is called “Crested” and it was created by Steven Messam.

In other news, the Netherlands will get to experience its first mini heat wave this weekend! Temperatures are expected to be around 30C or 85F here in The Hague. Time to find my sunscreen…

Dit weekend zomerse temperaturen: meer openbaar vervoer naar stranden from Translated: This weekend summer tempatures: more public transportation to beaches. For instance, HTM here in The Hague will be running the Strandexpress tram (=beach express), with limited stops between the Holland Spoor train station, Centraal Station, Madurodam and the beach. And of course it won’t be enough as everyone will descend on the beach with their car, bike or feet!

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Optical illusions and mind bending art (Or: The year of Escher)

The Hague announced that in 2023 The Hague will “be the city of Escher”. M. C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist born in June 1898, 125 years ago. To mark the occasion, exhibitions have been scheduled at the Escher museum and Kunstmusuem.

You probably know Escher from his impossible staircase (English Wikipedia) or his self-portrait in a reflecting sphere. One of my favorite jigsaw puzzles that I have worked on is Day and Night. I am really looking forward to when I can do that puzzle again.

The Hague’s city hall currently has a huge display honoring the artist:

It reminds me of the tribute they made in the same spot for the Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan back in 2017.

In 2023, The Hague will be the city of Escher (from the official website of The Hague)

The exhibit “Escher – Other World” is being held at the Kunstmuseum through 10 September 2023.

The Escher exhibition” is being held at the Escher Museum through 1 October 2023.

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A slightly warmer weekend (Or: Temporary moments of spring)

I have to admit it was nice yesterday to wear a lighter jacket and not my winter jacket. The Netherlands is a bit warmer this week, around 9-11C (48-51F). And we haven’t gotten much rain lately at all, especially not in comparison to last month (see also Netherlands on track for the rainiest January ever at

Since my mention last week of the Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, I also saw this letter posted on The Guardian’s website: Illuminating Johannes Vermeer’s use of the camera obscura. It reminded me of an episode from one of my favorite podcasts, Everything Everywhere Daily, where the host discussed whether or not Vermeer used this technology. I like the podcast because there are short episodes coming out of every day about every topic under the sun. Each episode is about 10-15 minutes. If you want an even crazier episode you should try Saint Olga of Kiev: The Patron Saint of Vengeance.

Vermeer’s “A woman asleep”, on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Roger, Marco and I saw it when we were in New York City last November. Read more at their website.

Oh, and in other news – I am having way too much fun playing the newly released Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation. It is a lot of fun to run around and get collectibles and gear. More fun than actually doing the storyline, perhaps…

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“Chance of a lifetime” Vermeer exhibition (Or: On display at the Rijksmuseum)

If you enjoy the paintings by Johannes Vermeer, then you should consider going to the Rijksmuseum to see the latest exhibition. It will run from 10 February through 4 June. What makes this exhibition special, you might ask? It will feature 28 of Vermeer’s paintings. Considering he only has about 40 paintings credited to him, this is a lot of Vermeer in one museum. The Rijksmuseum was able to get other museums to lend their paintings for the exhibition. For example, it will feature the “Girl with the Pearl Earring” which is normally in The Hague’s Mauritshuis. It will be on loan through the end of March. Other paintings include “Girl Reading a Letter at the Open Window” from Dresden and “The Mistress and the Maid” from the Frick collection in New York. Paintings are also on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre.

If you want to book tickets, see the Rijksmuseum website. You need to pick a date and start time.

See also ‘Chance of a lifetime’ Vermeer exhibition to open in Amsterdam at

Above: Girl reading a letter by an open window. See also:

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Beautiful blue canals (Or: Another view of The Hague)

Last week I took a walk to the old Red Cross hospital in Segbroek, a neighborhood in The Hague. It was time to get another corona vaccination. It was a route I hadn’t taken before, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful view of one of the canals:

I love photographing trees dipping into the water. And the blue, slightly cloudy sky was also nice to photograph.

In other news:

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Every day a new dog awaits (Or: Sand art in the city centre)

If you visit The Hague’s city centre in the afternoons, there is a good chance you will see some doggy-related sand art:

Of course, the person was still in the middle of sculpting so the dog looks more like he lost a lot of weight very, very quickly. Here is a close up:

See also: Bijna dagelijks ligt deze hond van zand op de Grote Marktstraat, maar waarom? (This dog of sand is lying on the Grote Markstraat almost every day. Why?) from in Dutch. Apparently this dog sand art is frequently seen in other Dutch cities and even London. Of course the sculptors hope you will drop a few coins into their bag as you walk past, and it seems like dogs are an easy thing to sculpt. If you stick around long enough you will also see puppies being formed. Or just click the news article above to see some sand puppies.

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Chapeau! (Or: Hats exhibition in De Passage)

Look up in De Passage (The Passage) and you will see a few thousand hats floating above you.

The Hat Exhibition Chapeau! is being held in De Passage until mid-October (, article in English). As the story goes, a few years ago about 3,000 hats were found in a vacant space above the Ladies Paradise shop in De Passage. The shop itself closed around 1998-2000. The designer Pink Steenvoorden came up with the idea of hanging most of them from the ceiling for visitors to photograph.

You can view a picture of the interior of the shop at The Hague’s city archive.

If you will be around for Prinsjesdag, you can also take part in The Hague Hat Stroll 2022 on September 17. For more information see (in Dutch). Everyone is asked to wear their prettiest hat. If you don’t have one, you can borrow one for the event from the supply of hats found in De Passage. The walk will go through The Hague’s Museumkwartier (the Museum Quarter [in English]).

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World’s Dutchest police chase (Or: Of course it is with bikes)

The video itself is a bit cropped, especially on the bottom, but if you want to see it in its original size you can click on the video to go to Reddit. (For instance, the guy being on the ground complaining is cut off in WordPress’s embedded version.)

If you think something is a bit off, it is probably the bikes the police are riding on. Usually police get their own bike, which is white with police decals ( in Dutch, but I linked to it for the image). However, in this video they did not have their own bikes so they had to borrow some from random citizens. Hence why it looks like the police aren’t that great at riding them…

In other news:

  • Hidden Van Gogh self-portrait discovered behind earlier painting from Good ol’ X-ray scans, letting us see what the artist never intended.
  • Icelandair sends its own baggage crews to deal with Schiphol chaos from Although a lot of airports are having staffing issues these days, this is still pretty funny. Schiphol does have a problem with luggage piling up and not getting to its destination, of course. But Icelander is now sending two luggage handlers with on every flight to Amsterdam so that they can help out and make sure that that flight’s luggage gets in the owner’s hands quickly.
  • Apparently The Hague is getting its own Taco Bell ( in Dutch). I hadn’t realized that were already a few locations in The Netherlands, but there you go. The new location will likely be in the city centre at Vlamingstraat 35, although that isn’t confirmed or official yet. It’s not really a place I really ate at often in the US, so I probably won’t go to it here either.
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Lightning trip (Or: Concerts and architecture in Antwerp)

Marco, Roger and I were in Antwerp earlier this week for the Hella Mega Tour (Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Green Day). We booked the tickets in early 2020 and then only got to see the show now. Thanks corona! The scheduling was really nicely done, with Weezer and Fall Out Boy playing for an hour and Green Day closing the show with an hour and a half performance. Everything was almost perfectly timed (with only a few minutes delay here and there). The show ended when they said it would, wow!

Part of the reason everything is so perfectly timed is because 50 cents of your ticket price goes to public transportation, so you can ride the bus, tram or metro for free there and back. The venue and public transportation company agreed that all shows must end by 23:30. If that happens, the public transportation company guarantees that line 1 would run for an hour after the show ends. In the end we did take the tram there, although we walked back to the hotel after the show (about a 30 minute walk) due to how crowded the metro was. Technically they call it a metro, but the vehicles that arrive are still the shorter trams, so nothing like the New York City metro.

I will spare you my less than spectacular photos of the concert itself, so here are some other ones:

This is a statue of Nello & Patrasche, characters from the book A Dog in Flanders ( in English).

What can I say, I like Ferris wheels. And I thought this was a pretty image, with the Ferris wheel just poking out from behind the trees. This Ferris wheel is called “The View”.

Above: a look at some of the architecture in the city centre. Very pretty! We also enjoyed the nice wide streets as it made it easy to walk around.

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A few more photos of Amsterdam (Or: Fountains and statues)

First, here is a photo of a statue on the side of the building. I know it is somewhere in the city centre, and somewhere in the Chinatown part of the city, but I can’t quite make out the street name on the photo. Nevertheless, it is an interesting piece of art:

And here is a fountain near the main entrance of Vondelpark:

Unfortunately this weekend trip we took already feels like it was a few months ago, even though it was only last month. Oh well – on to the next trip!

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