"View of the Sea at Scheveningen" - a memory

September 30, 2016

Today in art news:  

 

The short news article grabbed my attention because of the word "Scheveningen".  You see, even though I come from a backward part of the world that is full of racism, football, and derision for history, style, and art in general, only two years after leaving university studies I was living in Scheveningen, Netherlands, and working as a professor in a school for English speaking students in The Hague.

 

 

My little motor bike took me many afternoons toward the beach and the dunes where the German bunkers, used only eighteen years before,  formed a high place where I sat and silently watched the sun fall into the cold North Sea.  In September the days were growing cool, the tourists were gone, and the beach community was quiet. 

 

I lived in a Victorian house on a street called Parkweg, within a very short motorbike ride to the Scheveningen harbor and the same short distance the opposite direction into the center of The Hague, home to the Mauritshuis Museum, full of priceless paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Holbein. The entire city and its surroundings were a living museum for me, and again, I luxuriated in this corner of the world so filled with history and Western culture.

 

Mauritshuis Museum

 

                                                                 Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring

                                                  ---------------------------------------------------------------

 

One of Van Gogh's early paintings showing the beach at Scheveningen was stolen from a museum in Amsterdam more than a decade ago and has recently been recovered by Italian authorities in Naples following a sting operation that targeted organised crime.

 

Within the walls of Casa Mexilio five objects still follow me from that time of living in Scheveningen -- four hang on the walls and one decorates a table.

 

 

 Van Gogh  --  View of the Sea at Scheveningen  --  1882

 

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