Last Year In Amsterdam

It's a new year and a new blog! I am going back to last ,year for my first one of the year, to revisit a moment I don't want to forget! There aren't many places you can get on a plane from Inverness and just be there without having to get on another plane. One of them is Amsterdam and my husband and I took full advantage of that fact last October.

In less than 2 hours we were in Amsterdam. Readjusting to walking where bicycles rule supreme takes some time and attention but the canals, the houseboats and the bikes all make for a less harried atmosphere. There seems to be a zen way of cycling as they negotiate people, cars and scooters.

The Rijksmuseum is an amazing place with incredible artworks. But the most exciting and moving moment for me was seeing Vermeer's small work 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter'. I had a postcard of it hanging on my bulletin board for a very long time and seeing it 'live' was amazing. I didn't realise it was so small which makes it all the more powerful, the light from the window and the blue of her top are so vivid as she is reading the letter. The delicate brush strokes and the detail is breathtaking.There is an ambiguity to the work as we anticipate what may happen after she finishes reading the letter. Was it good news or bad news? She is pregnant - is this significant? We never know but it brings you back again and again to this amazing piece of work. It is both familiar, intimate and universal…a moment in time captured so movingly by one of the masters.

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter (1663–64. Oil on canvas, 18 5/16 x 15 3/8 in. (49.6 x 40.3 cm). Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.  

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter - Vermeer

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter - Vermeer