A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
My list of things to do whilst in The Netherlands is growing steadily longer as people keep suggesting more and more things to do whilst I’m out here. I only wish that I didn’t have this endless pile of reading keeping me from fully giving into being a tourist! This weekend I decided I needed a (probably not so well-deserved) break and headed off to The Hague for a little exploration. I find this beautiful city so nice to visit after being in Leiden for a long time, it’s such a diverse and unique city with a great variety of culture.
I decided to tick off one thing on my things-to-do-list; the highly recommended Escher museum. Now, if you’re a person who easily gets bored by art, this museum is for you. The paintings all look completely original and are so unique in their own way. I would love to be able to explain the art, but I think this is truly a case when a picture is worth a thousand words. My camera couldn’t quite capture the detail of the art, but I tried at least to capture some of its essence.
For those who don’t know, Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who produces art that is inspired by mathematics, infinity, relativity, order and disorder. The art is produced in such a way that plays with vision and the mind and makes obvious an important distinction between image and reality.
Not only is the art in this gallery stunning and interesting, but the architecture and decoration is also absolutely stunning. The whole gallery is in the old winter palace of the Dutch royal family. It’s such a beautiful old building with some truly stunning architecture, light fittings and paintings so definitely worth a look!
I especially loved this bird lamp shade – if only I could get this beautiful for my student room!
The great thing about this museum as well is that if you adventure up to the top floor, it really brings to light some of the elements of Escher’s work. There is a camera which plays with the illusion of perception and mirror ball which reflects your face in a distorted fashion. I think that this really helps to bring the art to life – and is especially great to help to understand the mind of the artist. Plus, it’s always great fun to have a hands-on part to the gallery!
So that’s one thing ticked off my list – I’ll have to have a careful think about where I’m going to visit next but I would recommend a visit to any reader who wants to learn a bit more about the mind of an interesting Dutch artist!