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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hermitage Amsterdam

Last weekend, I went to my beloved Hermitage in Amsterdam. The current exhibition is on Art of the Russian Orthodox Church. Though not so much into religion (I just have seen too much catholicism in my youth, I'm afraid), I realised you cannot want to learn about the Russian culture and ignore their religion. So, off I went.

I am not going to tell you all about the orthodox religion here for three good reasons: I am not an expert, we already have wikipedia, and you should go to the exhibition of course :-) But I want to share that I was struck by the way the church has been used during history. Not unique for Russia of course, but still. If you go to the exhibition, watch the short video they show on the history of the church and you will find out how, already in the 20th century alone, one day you could be welcomed with open arms for your religion and the other day you had to attend masses secretively; one day there were cathedrals, churches and monasteries in all their 'splendour and glory' and the other day they were burnt down again. This as a teaser to make you go to the current exhibition...

Concerning the upcoming exhibitions: Hermitage Amsterdam can welcome me again in about a year, for the Siberia exhibition. I will skip the next one on Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens, my compatriots; although of course everyone unfamiliar with them should go and find out about these fabulous Flemish painters (as of 17 September, for all info:

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