Some people go to Europe for the food. Some people go for the shopping. Some go to see famous sights or with no particular goal. My upcoming trip to Europe will be focused on seeing as much of the world’s greatest art as I can.
Shortly after Christmas I’ll arrive in Paris where (bien sûr!) I’ll have lots of time for the Louvre, the Orsay and other lesser-known art museums. When I made my plans I was looking forward to an extended stay in winter, when the city isn’t so full of tourists. Unfortunately, after the attacks of November 13, there probably won’t be as many tourists as there should be but I’ll be there.
Next I’ll move on to Belgium where I’ll enjoy seeing great works by my favorite artists: Van Eyck, Campin, van der Weyden, Memling. At the top of my list is visiting St. Bavo’s cathedral in Ghent Belgium to see the painting known as the “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” (shown above). It was painted ca. 1420 by Hubert Van Eyck and his brother, Jan Van Eyck.
I plan to go to Amsterdam to see the newly renovated Rijksmuseum and to Den Haag to return to the Mauritshuis. If I can find a way there I’ll also go to the Koller-Muller museum located in a large park in the center of Holland. It contains more than 100 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh as well as works by other famous artists.
Later in my journey I’ll be in Madrid for a day at the Prado and for my first visit to the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum and the Reina Sofia. Some critics call the Prado collection the greatest in the world. Perhaps, perhaps not. There certainly are many great works of art to be found there.
My love of early art extends farther back in time than the 15th century. In France I love exploring some of the many churches constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. They often contain primitive sculpture, particularly at the tops of the columns supporting a roof and cloisters. When my journey continues to Sicily I expect to find even older artworks in the archaeological museums there.
In Ireland I’ll enjoy again the fine National Art Museum and the treasures to be found in the National Museum of Ireland. I’m looking forward to visiting for the first time the Decorative Arts & History museum in Dublin as well. And then to London and the great collection at the National Gallery.
From there, who knows? Maybe I’ll stay longer and add Vienna, Frankfurt …
As I travel I’ll update this blog regularly with stories of my explorations as well as photos. I hope you’ll follow along. We’ll see some fabulous art!