Salon de Paris With an L-Tuziasm Edge

L-Tuziasm AtelierThe western edge of the city has been a construction site for years. First there was the rebuilding of the music palace, and now there’s the rebuilding of the train station, the Hoog Catharijne shopping center, the ring canal, and various other new buildings. In some cases, old structures are being torn down to make way for new ones, including the row of buildings along Van Sijpesteinkade.

L-Tuziasm AtelierAt Van Sijpesteinkade 11, you will find the atelier of local artist L-Tuziasm. Sadly, with the imminent destruction of the street, L-Tuziasm is having to find a new studio. However, to have one final grand exhibit, he is inviting a variety of artists from Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam to show their work in the final Mooie Plaatjes exhibition.

L-Tuziasm has been putting together these group exhibits since 2009, showing the work of better known artists, as well as emerging artists. The works vary in format, including painting, illustration, photography, graffiti and more. L-Tuziasm sees these group exhibits as harkening back to the salon de Paris style of the 18th and 19th centuries, but having a bit of an edge, allowing for a variety of traditional and modern art styles to come together. With so many art forms being shown side by side, in close proximity, they almost create their own new work of art in the process.

The final exhibition will be held Sunday, 30 March, from 12:00-19:00 at Van Sijpesteinkade 11. It’s a great opportunity to see some fantastic artwork from a variety of talented artists. As well as L-Tuziasm’s own work, there will be work by Annemiek Vera, Sasa Ostoja, Jan Willem Campmans, KBTR, Bram Boomgaardt, Janus van den Eijnden, Gino Hoiting, Lize Kraan, Arie Bremselaar, Tomas Sabatello, Franklin Plein, Sasja Bork, Ox Alien, and Kris van Veen. If you’re remotely close to Utrecht, it’s absolutely worth a visit.
larsexhibit

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Time Travel Through Art

Wall of Utrecht
A few months ago, while looking through Pinterest, I saw a fantastic graphic-style print of Utrecht that I fell in love with instantly. Besides the style of it, I loved the different aspects of the city that were represented. Sadly, when I clicked through, trying to find any information about the artist or where I could buy a copy of it, I came up blank.

Imagine my thrill when I was walking down Domstraat recently, admiring the artwork on display in the windows of Catch, a local art store, and suddenly there it was, the print I had been searching for! The store was closed at the time, but I went in last week to enquire about the print. Pondering a bit more, I ended up going back yesterday and bought it. It’s the large print on the right, in case you hadn’t figured that out. It’s signed and numbered, even! The artist is Utrecht-based Jochem Coenen, and I absolutely love his style that seems to combine traditional and modern illustration so beautifully.

As well as buying the print, I also picked up some frames for some modern and antique prints I’ve been collecting. One is a print from 1857 of one of the early incarnations of the Paushuize. I’ve been writing a lot about the Paushuize recently for various websites and publications, so when I came across the print, I couldn’t resist. The pen and ink drawing of the Domtoren and Oudegracht is one that I picked up recently from another local artist, Ellessi, and the final print is another antique print of Utrecht depicting the bend in the Oudegracht in front of the Stadhuis.
Antique UtrechtIt’s a spot that is still recognizable, although much of it has changed in the past two hundred years or so, well, except for the Domtoren, of course. The Stadhuis (white buildings, center left) was rebuilt in a neo-Classic style around 1830. The crane on the left was originally built in 1402, although it underwent various updates and rebuilds until it finally gave up the ghost in 1837, while trying to unload the large caryatids that form the columns of the Winkel van Sinkel.
Oudegracht
I recently came across a painting of roughly the same spot as my print by an Utrecht artist, Georg-Gillis van Haanen (1807-1879).
georgGillis
Nowadays, although many of the buildings have changed, that curve of the old canal, with the Domtoren rising up above the city, remains instantly recognizable. I’m sure even the artists of these images would soon feel at home.
Stadhuisbrug
The Agreement

Art Inspired by Utrecht’s Patron Saint

Sint Maarten
Throughout Utrecht, references to Sint Maarten (St. Martin) pop up everywhere. Perhaps not surprising, since he is Utrecht’s patron saint. The cathedral (where the above image is found) was dedicated to Sint Maarten,and the city’s coat of arms/flag is a visual reference to the saint’s history.

I’ve mentioned the city’s red and white flag in the past and how it relates to Sint Maarten. The story goes that Maarten was approached by a beggar on the street. As a poor soldier, Maarten had no money to give and was not allowed to give away his military coat, so he got creative and cut his red coat in half in order to at least share it with the beggar. That night, in a dream, the grateful beggar revealed himself to be Jesus.

The city’s coat of arms (a shield divided diagonally into red and white) and flag (the same diagonal red and white) represent the red cloak and the white undershirt of Maarten.

Although the story may be old, it seems to hold a special place in the heart of one local resident in the Wittevrouwen neighborhood. He recently commissioned a large mural of the saint for the side of his house. At the corner of Zandhofsestraat and Bladstraat, the story of Sint Maarten cutting his coat for the beggar is depicted against the backdrop of the historic old Wittevrouwen city gate.

The mural was created by artists Zinzi Rozema and Marij Nielen (of the Makershuis Maanzaad), along with Jos Peeters. It’s a simple but striking image of two of Utrecht’s great symbols. Rather appropriately, you can even see the Utrecht flag hanging to the left of the mural.
Sint Maarten bij Stadspoort Wittevrouwen

An Illustrated Home

Elegant Architecture
Last weekend when we wandered around the city, visiting the various locations specially opened for Open Monuments Day, the first stop we made was at Achter Sint Pieter 4. This building was once part of the enclosed area that was part of the St. Peter church properties. I’m not sure how old the original building would have been, but part of the roof structure does date back to the 15th century. The building underwent renovation in the 17th and 18th centuries creating a complex of wings to building, surrounding a courtyard. It also features a staircase tower, with the staircase dating to the 17th century.

Elegant Architecture
The building is now a mix of offices and private residences, one or two of which are currently on the market. What a beautiful building to call your home! It’s also literally just around the corner from the cathedral. These first two photos show the entrance foyer. They are very much in the Italian Renaissance style, particularly reminding me of the Pazzi Chapel in Florence, which is decorated with the grey pietra serena against white walls, with inset paintings. I’m unclear as to the date of this particular painting, though. The facade of the building was redone in the 18th century.

The doorway on the right leads to a 14-meter hallway that leads to the courtyard garden area. The hallway is topped with a decorated barrel vault ceiling. The paintings on the ceiling supposedly date back to the 17th century, although I’m not sure if they are original or simply reproductions of what may have originally been there. Regardless, they certainly have a certain similarity to many of the simple decorative ceiling paintings of that period.
Ceiling Art

Ceiling Art

Ceiling Art

At the end of the hallway is the door to the garden courtyard. While we were out there, looking around, we were joined by a dog who belongs to one of the residents, I believe. He was a friendly, handsome little fellow who was more than happy to have some attention and scritches from both G and me. He perfectly capped off our visit to the first of the monuments that day.
Brave Hond

For Reals

It’s official. A painting in De Fundatie Museum in Zwolle has been declared a Van Gogh. There were doubts originally, both because of the style/subject, but also because the man who had purchased it had also purchased a number of paintings that he claimed were Vermeers, which turned out to be forgeries. His credibility was called into question, as a result. However, experts from the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam have officially verified the authenticity of this work, titled Le Blute-fin Windmill, a piece from Van Gogh’s Parisian period.

Source with full story and image

Huis Vrouw

I’ve been thinking for a while about painting the laundry room and the stairwell leading up to the top floor. It’s all a light yellow right now, and while I like the color, it could use with a fresh coat of paint. Today I started painting. For now, I’m doing a simple white base coat, but I would like to do some fun color(s) in there, as well. I’d also like to get the room organized as well as possible to make up for the limited space and angled walls.

I saw a nice room in one of the design magazines here, but have to figure out how to work some of the color combinations in without making the small room seem more oppressive. I might also just have some fun and paint some designs directly onto some of the walls, along the lines of what I did in our bedroom with the bird on a branch.

For now, though, I’ll settle for a nice, even coat of white. Next up, a trip to Gamma or Hema to pick up some more white paint and a retractable-arm paint roller to reach those hard to reach spots in the stairwell.