13th – 17th May
After the success of the Vermeer exhibition in Amsterdam we have decided to dig a little deeper into this master’s story and visit his birth town, Delft. This beautiful city with its narrow canal-lined streets envelops you in medieval magnificence and the glory of the Golden Age. We will make a day trip to the charming town of Hague where we will revisit some of Vermeer’s works at Mauritshuis which also holds an excellent collection of other Dutch and Flemish masters. We will also make a special visit to see the the Royal Dutch Delft Manufactory, the only remaining producer of the much-loved local ceramic.
We will be staying in a hotel listed as a National Monument due to its fascinating history, connecting it with the economic and political power of the Netherlands in the 17th Century. The hotel is also perfectly situated in middle of the historic centre and all rooms have views over the Oude Delft or Nieuwe Delft canals.
Monday 13th May
We will catch a morning flight to Amsterdam and take a private coach to Delft. We will arrive at the hotel and drop our bags before heading out into the city for a late lunch. We will then have an introduction to the rich history of Delft where we will explore how a new powerful merchant class and a new kind of religion produced an innovative form of visual culture. Starting in Oude Delft we will move into the town square and take in the town hall. We will enjoy supper together at a restaurant near to the hotel.
Tuesday 14th May
We will spend the morning visiting important sites in Vermeer’s life. Starting with Vermeer’s final resting place in Oude Kerk (Old Church), also famous for its leaning tower and beautiful stained-glass windows. We will then see the place where Vermeer was christened at the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), as well as the tomb of William the Silent. We will continue on to visit locations where Vermeer lived, and that he, and other artists, painted.
After a delicious lunch we will visit the Museum Prisenhof to see their excellent collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings, as well as the site where William of Orange was assassinated. After a day full of Dutch art and Architecture, we will have a good dinner in the centre of town.
Wednesday 15th May
We will travel by tram for a day trip to the Hague. We will start at the Mauritshuis where we will cherry pick the finest works from their collection including Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and Carel Fabritius’ exquisite ‘Goldfinch’.
After lunch will explore the Hague on foot, including a visit to see 19th-century artist Hendrik Mesdag’s iconic and unique panoramic beach painting on the largest circular canvas in Europe. We return to Delft by tram in time for a rest before for supper.
Thursday 16th May
In the morning we will visit the Royal Delft Porcelain Manufactory to learn about the history of the iconic Delftware as well as gain an insight into how it is made. On our way there we will take in the site where Vermeer painted the most famous cityscape of the Dutch seventeenth century.
In the afternoon there will be some free time to choose what you would like to do. Some good options include exploring the town to locate the sight of the 1652 ‘Thunderclap’, the various Beguinages, or the picturesque East Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Vermeer Museum which displays reproductions of all of Vermeer’s works. Or perhaps, a spot of shopping. We will meet up again for dinner.
Friday 17th May
On our final day together, with our bags packed we will leave the hotel promptly and head straight to Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum where we will focus on paintings by Vermeer and other masterpieces in the breath-taking Gallery of Honour, such as Rembrandt’s Night Watch. We will finish our trip with one last special lunch together in the Rijksmuseum’s Michelin-starred restaurant, the perfect way to celebrate our trip. We will then board our coach to travel to the airport and make our way home.
The trip will be led by Richard Stemp and Francesca Ramsay. Both are very experienced AHA tutors and are well versed on Northern Renaissance art and Vermeer.
We will stay at the Hotel Arsenaal, located conveniently in the centre and housed in a historically important building which has been beautifully restored and transformed in to a very comfy hotel. We have booked Superior Rooms with views over the canal.
There is quite a bit of walking on this trip, as well as steep slopes and cobbles. As is the case for all our courses, there is a lot of standing while we discuss the works we are looking at.
Dinner is by no means compulsory, but we book a table for the group each night at different restaurants and divide the bill equally between everyone. We will adjust the bill for those who do not drink wine or beer.
We do not book the flights thus allowing you to travel to suit your budget, use airmiles, travel between different airports or on different dates. However, we recommend buying the following flights with KLM:
Monday 13th May London Heathrow 09.55 – 12.20 Amsterdam Schiphol KL1004
Friday 17th May Amsterdam Schiphol 19.05 – 19.25 London Heathrow KL1015
We will mostly travel in comfort in a private coach with air-conditioning. We will travel to the Hague by tram.
The fees are £2100 which includes accommodation and breakfast, all lunches including a Michelin star restaurant, transfers for the recommended flight, transport when connected with teaching, entrance fees, tuition, reading lists and local advice. The single occupancy supplement is £150 (double room for single use). Not included are the flights, all suppers, travel insurance. The group will not exceed 16 people and we will divide in to two smaller groups wherever possible.
Please complete the online registration form and pay a deposit of £600 a head by bank transfer. Our bank details will be sent to you once we receive your registration form.
If you have any queries please email charlie@arthistoryabroad or call 01379 871800 (302)