Amsterdam: The Van Gogh Museum

After the mouse at the Stedelijk, we left to walk to FOAM (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam), but the day was chilly and unpleasant, and the Van Gogh museum beckoned right next door, so we decided to pop in for a look at an exhibition of Naturalist painting, Illusions of Reality.

And there, to my surprise, I encountered an old friend from the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki. It was both odd and comforting to see the familiar paintings by Albert Edelfelt in completely new surroundings, and in a context that had little to do with Finland. As if an old friend had moved house, bought a new wardrobe and befriended new people – the same, but different.

For a lovely taster of Edelfelt, check the Audio Guide section of the Ateneum website for Boys playing on the Shore. A perfect day by the seashore somewhere on the south coast of Finland, perhaps not far from the cottage where Edelfelt spent his summers. Click here to see the painting.