Friday, February 5, 2010

Auricular Amsterdam

I took my first trip outside Århus since I arrived. I went to Amsterdam.

The first museum I went to was the Rijksmuseum, the national museum of art and history of the Netherlands. Unfortunately much of the museum was closed due to renovations. The most well-known pieces of its extensive collection were on display in a few small galleries.

I saw pieces by the van Vianen family of silversmiths active in the 17th century. Brothers Paulus and Adam were known for the use of auricular ornamentation. Auricular refers to the earlobes so the ornamentation of scrolls and curved shapes resembling organic shapes and earlobes.

This design is seen in the shapes around the edge of the Diana plate by Paulus van Vianen.

Adam van Vianen made this jug as a three dimensional auricular shape. The whorls at the base and in the body of the jug are particularly ear-like. 

At one stop at the Heineken Brewery tour, visitors sat in futuristic-looking chairs. Their C-shape seemed to me very auricular.

On my last day in Amsterdam, I visited the Van Gogh Museum, just across the plaza from the Rijksmuseum. He had ... a difficult relationship with his earlobe.
 (Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear isn't actually at the Van Gogh museum but I definitely thought about it.)

After leaving Van Gogh, I bought a pre-made salad from a grocery store. It had lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and auricular pasta.

The next morning I left Amsterdam. 


Jessieroo said...

I love this post! I can't pinpoint it, but what great writing and unique theme. Hope you're doing very very well!

CYW said...

I'm glad you like it! It's certainly different from posts I have written before. I wanted to find a motif that united my days in Amsterdam and organized my photos. I quite like what I have written, if I may say so. I was also inspired by Maira Kalman's illustrations in The Pursuit of Happiness blog at the NYTimes.

Taz said...

This is hilarious. Listening ears are everywhere. Their national intelligence agency must be all-knowing...