Tag Archives: The Hague

Holland Part 4: Meet Mondrian

Holland Part 1: Falling for Amsterdam
Holland Part 2: Jewish History in Amsterdam
Holland Part 3: Snapshots from The Hague

While I’m not the art buff or enthusiast that M is, I did enjoy the opportunity to see some unique exhibits. This includes the largest collection of Mondrian paintings in the world at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.

*IMG_0066*IMG_0071I was familiar with Mondrian’s famous red, yellow, and blue paintings thanks to a college art class and rudimentary knowledge of popular culture, but like most people in the world, I had no idea that Mondrian started out as a traditional and prolific Dutch painter.

IMG_0097IMG_0098IMG_0103IMG_0106As Mondrian’s painting career progressed, his paintings took a turn for starker, bolder imagery.

IMG_0114IMG_0117And then a hint of what was to come.

IMG_0118Finally, the paintings that made Mondrian famous.

IMG_0119IMG_0122IMG_0125IMG_0126IMG_0128This is Mondrian’s final masterpiece, Victory Boogie Woogie, inspired by the musicality of jazz music. When Mondrian died in 1944 in New York City, this still unfinished piece was his final legacy.

IMG_0130IMG_0133.JPGA model of Mondrian’s New York City apartment when he died.

IMG_0136If you didn’t know about Mondrian before, start paying attention. You’ll start to see the famous composition in TV shows, movies, and basically everywhere. We were given gifts of Mondrian socks by the Holland tourism office (which M wears all the time!), and you can even purchase a Mondrian inspired dress (but not cheaply!)

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Holland Part 3: Snapshots From The Hague

Holland Part 1: Falling for Amsterdam
Holland Part 2: Jewish History in Amsterdam

If Amsterdam is the Netherland’s New York City, The Hague is its Washington D.C. The Hague is a short one-hour train ride south of Amsterdam. While M went off to look at art, I strolled The Hague and played photographer.

Let me take a moment to remind you that the whole reason we were on this trip was because M was invited to visit Holland’s exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the De Stijl movement – and one of its founders, Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. If you don’t know the iconic red, blue, and yellow paintings Mondrian is famous for, you will shortly when you see how The Hangue decorated various buildings and landmarks in the spirit of Mondrian’s stark composition.

These buildings included our hotel, as well as the construction paneling surrounding the train station.

**IMG_0052As you walk through The Hague’s center, you will pass many government buildings, including the Department of Justice…

*IMG_0037…and a protest in front of the Department of Justice.

*IMG_9708**IMG_0038Finally, I hit the beautiful Binnenhoff, a complex of buildings that houses the States General of the Netherlands, the Ministry of General Affairs, and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The castle-like buildings were built in the 13th century and became the center of Dutch political life in 1584. It is the equivalent of Washington’s Capitol campus.

***IMG_9798***IMG_9835Even the Binnenhoff got in on the Mondrian fun with red, yellow, and blue squares in the Hofvijver lake. Apparently, the pigeons loved Mondrian’s squares so much, the squares quickly turned white from all their pooping. A weekly cleaning of the squares was quickly arranged.

***IMG_9882**IMG_9871I was surprised to discover that the banks of the Hofvijver are covered in sea shells.

IMG_9887I turned into town and explored the narrow streets and cute shops. I even bought myself a pair of colorful socks.

**IMG_9910The Hague’s version of Chinatown.

*IMG_9934An indoor arcade and shopping mall.

***IMG_0021Another fine example of The Hague getting into the spirit of the De Stijl movement.

*IMG_9955IMG_0001M joined me and we did a quick stop at the Church grounds where the famous Jewish (and excommunicated) philosopher Benedict Spinoza is buried.

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