Posted at 9:09 am , on November 16, 2010
Last week, after a troublesome journey, I arrived at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. After some queuing up in the rain I was going at once to Jan Six. There he was, with his beautiful red coat. I liked him at first sight. His appearance, his posture. His polite impatience, was he going out ? His gorgeous cloths. The many buttons. Most of all I liked his eyes. Were they green ? Friendly but a little absent. He had other things on his mind.
In another room his etch, more casual, Jan Six was leaning against a window-sill. Reading some papers. As if not aware of the portraitist.
A reader lives in another world or age. Forgets the other people around. Can a reader be unaware of the attention when pictured ? Is it possible to picture the very moment of reading ?
Both portraits showed a real person. Someone you could give a hand and speak to. I felt the presence of two people. Jan Six or was it Rembrandt that I saw or maybe, interpreting, me ?
Rijksmuseum and Jan Six
Posted at 9:50 am , on November 9, 2010
A little child, six years old, I was going to a fair. My mother told me about a kind of water organ with music. Full of expectations I was sitting at the front row inside a very large tent. Suddenly the organ was spraying water streams in all sorts of color. The fountains were waving from left to right and up and down. All in harmony with the music.
I liked the show with all these magnificent colors. But moving me most was the music. I never liked the usual children songs. Now I was sitting upright, absorbed by the music.
The slow beginning, the tempi, the waltz. The mildness and then the unexpected loudness of the orchestra. The violins, the flutes, the brass. The melancholy of the violoncello. Sounds I never sensed before.
Life got a new and heavenly dimension. I have never forgotten this first conscious hearing of music. This enchantment of music.