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Amsterdam Canal House Museums: Van Loon Museum exhibit Michiel van Musscher

When in Amsterdam......visit an Amsterdam Canal House Museum. Set on Amsterdam's UNESCO World Heritage Canals you step into the existence of the city's merchant elite. With the museum card or IAmsterdam card these museums are great value. These museums are away from the crowds and let you wander the rooms and gardens of valued real estate.

The Van Loon Family

The Van Loon Family is a patrician family of Amsterdam. The family moved to Amsterdam from South Holland in the 17th century. In 1602, Willem Van Loon was one of the founding members of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) and Willem's grandson was Lord Mayor of Amsterdam. The Van Loons were raised to the position of peerage in the 1800s. The  the house was bought by the family in 1886 as a wedding present for a younger Van Loon.

The Van Loon Museum is still owned by the family today.

The House
Van Loon Museum - Amsterdam

Built in 1672, its first resident was Ferdinand Bol, pupil of Rembandt, and master artist in his own name. The house next door was owned by Jeremias van Raey, a Flemish merchant who made his money by selling weapons and grain. Van Raey rented the yet to be named Van Loon House to Bol. The architect of the house was Adriaen Dortsman who also designed the Dome Lutheran Church in Amsterdam, the now named Descartes House and the fortifications at Naarden, just outside of Amsterdam.

Van Loon Museum - Amsterdam
The Van Loon Museum is a chance to step behind the facade of a grand canal house in Amsterdam's heritage listed canals. The house is like stepping back in time. Bread is still on the kitchen table. The beds are dressed in linen. The house looks like the 17th century owners have just stepped out.

At the back of the house is wonderful garden and a coach house. The garden is beautiful and a moment of peace away from the noise of Amsterdam's streets. The newly renovated coach house is currently housing an exhibition by painter Michiel van Musscher.

Van Loon Museum Garden and Coach House - Amsterdam


Coach House Exhibition of Michiel van Musscher

In the Coach House is the first exhibition of Michiel van Musscher (1645 - 1705)  who painted during the time of Rembrandt. Van Musscher was born into a Mennonite family and was first commissioned by the Van Loon family in 1679. He was one of the most successful portrait painters in Amsterdam at the end of the 1600s. His most famous subject is Tsar Peter the Great.

Michiel showed talent for painting early in life and excelled after a few months of training.  Van Musscher's special talent was detail especially tapestry, oriental carpets and fine fabrics. His ability to paint realistically is what made the elite of Amsterdam commission him for paintings.

Our favorite painting of the exhibition was that of the painter's family. The skill of detail was evident. What was more amazing was that the painting was done months after the death of van Musscher's first wife. The painting was a memory. The artist also added a peacock, that symbolizes immortality, and a finch that symbolised resurrection.

For those who enjoy Dutch Golden Age art the Michiel van Musscher exhibition is well worth a visit. The exhibition runs from March until June. For more information regarding entrance prices and times visit the museum website.

When in Amsterdam...enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

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