The light in spring is different. Very bright, very colourful. Calves, lambs and flowers, and all possible shades of green. Some pictures were taken near our house in Bloemendaal, but we also made a few trips. The Kröller-Müller museum is always a treat. Never too crowded, excellent light, fabulous collection, great sculpture garden. And then there is the National Park the Hoge Veluwe where you can walk and cycle and spot various wild animals. Have lunch in the Boer’n kinkel in Otterloo. Visiting museums is not fun to tell you the truth. The best way is to go often (“You must in any case go to the museum often”, Vincent van Gogh, 19 November 1873) and see little. Actually I prefer to see only one painting when visiting a museum. In the course of the past decades I’ve been many times to the Kröller-Müller and every time I realise there was a painting (or a couple) that I hadn’t really seen or understood before. There was an excellent exposition in Amsterdam about Van Gogh and Japan. My French friends from the Provence had convinced me that it was the light of their land that had changed Van Gogh’s work, but the exposition really made it clear to me that it was Japan. The appropriation of Van Gogh by my Provence friends had never gone down too well but the Japanese connection solved that problem once and for all. He wrote to Theo when he arrived in the south of France: “But, my dear brother — you know, I feel I’m in Japan” (16 March 1888).
The Singer museum in Laren has a wonderful exhibition “Impressionism and beyond”. All these paintings were new to me, and my strategy in this case is to run around rapidly, select a couple to look at more closely, and leave the rest for another time. Which will probably not come. For me it is useless to spend 45 seconds in front of each painting, so I have to make choices.