A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Hope you had a nice weekend! I decided to walk around as we enjoyed two days of free access to Leiden monuments. As I had already seen most of the famous places here I decided to spend time at the Museum de Lakenhal on Oude Singel. The site is of historical significance to Leiden as for several centuries the city’s economy was driven by the manufacture of woollen fabric called ‘Leiden cloth’ and it was here that the fabric was inspected and sealed before being exported around the world. There is a floor dedicated to the processes involved in cloth making and also holds sample products. But the museum also has a nice exhibition of Dutch paintings mostly from the 1700s. I must admit I only know of a handful of painters, Dutch or otherwise, so it was interesting to come across other impressive artists of the Dutch golden age. Here are a few pieces I liked:
Many of the painters had worked with or under Rembrandt and here is a striking piece by one of his students Jan Lievens showing the Roman governer Pilate ‘washing his hands of all responsibility to put Christ to Death’, with Christ being taken away in the background.
Among several paintings with biblical scenes I came across a lovely piece with people skating in the ice back in the day:
Do I need to tell you why I like this work from another one of Rembrandt’s students?
There was a also a small antique room perhaps kept so to reflect typical life centuries ago. There were pots and pans, taps and cups but also an unexpected host:
Then of course there was the gallery dedicated to fabrics:
And finally this panel piece by Kamerlingh Onnes to celebrate the centenary of the Amsterdam based newspaper ‘Algemeen Handelsblad‘:
I got confused here because I thought Onnes was a Nobel laureate in Physics and had no idea he was a man of many talents – it turns out this painter is called ‘Harm’ while it was his uncle ‘Heike’ who won the Nobel prize for liquefying helium. In fact I have seen several examples of similar glass panel work at our Observatory with some depicting physics formulae – I’ll try to put it up here soon.