Zakkendrager Revisited … Again

Zakkendrager Art
I really do love this street. I posted various photos of it — and some of the wall art — earlier in the year. Any time I head to the Vredenburg market on Saturdays, I always cut through Zakkendragersteeg, because it’s just so charming and picturesque and gezellig. Last week, as we cut through to the market, I noticed this new bit of wall art. It’s a bit of decoration for Restaurant de Zakkendrager, with a bit of influence from Vermeer. Yet another reason for me to love this narrow street.

In fact, the Oudaen castle that I posted about in my last Time Travel entry is next to this street, so if you visit one, you can see the other! Further down Zakkendragersteeg, there are also some new posters up on the wall, showing old photos and drawings of the area, while explaining a bit of the history. Sadly, my camera’s batteries were dying at that point, not to mention it was starting to rain, so I don’t have any photos of those to share. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to go again soon and maybe check some of the other side streets off the Oudegracht to see if there are more of these posters.

We’re expecting more rain again this weekend, so I doubt I’ll do much exploring, but I am thinking of heading to the Utrechtse Archief (Utrecht Archives) to check out an exhibit of old photos showing how animals have been a part of the city over the years. Fijn weekend!

Dutch Light

Piercing the Clouds
I know I’ve posted other photos here of these fantastic skies of both brilliant sunshine and dark clouds. We get it a lot here — more than I remember seeing it up and down the East Coast of the US — and it always takes my breath away. If I see light like this, I can’t help but reach for my camera so that I can go back and enjoy it any time I want. It’s almost thrilling, as you wonder what direction the weather will take. Fierce storms or lazy sunny days?

Recently, while visiting the Mauritshuis museum in Den Haag, I was thrilled by one of the Vermeer paintings they had on display. It wasn’t the Girl With A Pearl Earring that gave me a frisson of pleasure and recognition; it was his View of Delft.

As soon as I saw those dark clouds hovering over the lighter cityscape, I understood exactly what he was depicting. I’ve seen it so often since moving here! Despite having yet to visit Delft, I still recognized this image so perfectly. The photos don’t do justice to the actual painting and the glow it seems to emit in person.

If you’re visiting the Netherlands, Den Haag is worth a visit, as is the Mauritshuis Museum. Even if you’re not overly interested in art, it’s a small enough collection to be easily manageable. I spent a lot of time looking at individual pieces and going back to certain ones, but even I managed to make my way through the whole museum in just a couple of hours. The current exhibit of Jan Steen’s work is highly enjoyable, and they have restoration experts there in the museum working on a painting during some of the hours of opening, so you can see the work in person. And see for yourself the beauty of Vermeer’s View of Delft. You may well recognize that magnificent glow, as well.

ETA: I was just checking my blog’s stats and noticed that someone got here by looking up the term “wild and woolly weather”. I realized that I have a post by that very name, and sure enough, it’s one of the posts where I discuss just this kind of light!