2008 Haagsche Koninginnenach – 2008 The Hague Queensnite: The Dutch Do Dance

The Dutch Don't Dance
The Dutch Don’t Dance, Photo © by Wouter Hogendorp and Canon

Recently I found this apt picture with apt title and color.

  1. The picture is apt because the wooden shoes or clogs stand as a sort of fake national symbol for The Netherlands, whereas hardly any Dutchman (or Cloggy as I am actually teasingly call my fellow countrymen) actually wears wooden shoes.
  2. The Title is as aptly untrue as the clog as national symbol as the Dutch do Dance, even on wooden shoes (later more on the subject of wooden shoe dancing).
  3. Actually the color is the only really apt element of this picture for today as orange is the Dutch national proud, not the national color because that is red white and blue, because it is the color of the House of Orange. Our Queen is a descendant from William of Orange who led the Dutch in their 80 years war against the Spanish. Tomorrow , 30th April is the official celebration of her 70th birthday this year and we will celebrate and dance!
Koninginnenach 2008 screensaver poster
The official 2008 Haagsche Koninginnenach Poster

But before the Dutch celebrate Koninginnedag or Queens day several cities celebrate the night before the day. In The Hague we celebrate Koninginnenach. It is a free pop festifal throughout the city. There are several Pop- and Jazz podia. In several theaters and bars there is life music and all is one big party.

On the 2008 Haagsche Koninginnenach you can actually hear the music of several groups performing tonight.

I will not get permission from my dear wife to enter the festivities with my cameras because I am just recovering from a flu alas. It is her good excuse to keep me from partying:-)

I had some luck that I found some photos on Flickr © by Fiona Bradley that give a view of the preparations for Koninginnenach. Thank you Fiona for being so quick.

Koninginnenach 2008 01
one of the pop podia
Koninginnenach 2008 02
Part of the The Hague Queens Day Fair

If you want to have a nice overview of Konininnenach pictures do a Koninginnenach search on any photo site.


And you should read the post about Dutch Orange Day in New Holland from antipode (from Down Under) James Clarke from the Australian I Travelnet Blog. Then you will understand why I am proud to be a Dutchman. And I am curious whether Nomadic Matt will report about his Amsterdam Queensday experience.

Update May 1, 2008: Nomadic Matt did indeed post about Koninginnedag, But the post has disappeared since….

Last edited by GJE on December 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Monet's Waterloo Bridge Temps Couvert fetches record

Monet's Waterloo Bridge Temps Couvert fetches record

Monet painted his Waterloo Bridge paintings during a stay in the London Savoy Hotel. This painting fetched a record at Christie’s of UK pnd 18 mio which is more than double the pre sale estimate.

From the Lot notes of Christie’s :

‘I adore London, it is a mass, an ensemble, and it is so simple. What I like most of all in London is the fog. How could English painters of the nineteenth century have painted its houses brick by brick? Those fellows painted bricks that they didn’t see, that they couldn’t see… I so love London! But I only like it in the winter… It is the fog that gives it its marvellous breadth. Its regular, massive blocks become grandiose in this mysterious cloak’ (Monet, quoted in J. House, ‘Visions of the Thames’, pp. 15-37, Monet’s London: Artists’ Reflections on the Thames 1859-1914, exh.cat., St. Petersburg, FL, 2005, p. 33).

When Monet arrived in London in 1899 for a family visit, he had not been to the British capital for some time. Checking into the relatively recently built Savoy Hotel, on the North bank of the Thames, he was amazed by the view, fascinated by the ever-shifting light effects on the river, and immediately embarked upon one of his most celebrated series of paintings, all showing essentially one of three motifs in London. These were the Houses of Parliament and, painted from his bedroom, Charing Cross Bridge and Waterloo Bridge. He focused more on the latter, as in Waterloo Bridge, temps couvert, perhaps enjoying the looping rhythm of the arches in comparison to the rigidity of the ever-right-angled Charing Cross Bridge. Another aspect that may have led to his preference of Waterloo Bridge as a theme was the fact that the sun, rising in the East, shone during the morning from behind it, providing an intriguing array of subtle light effects, a smog-bound chiaroscuro. It is a tribute to the visual power of Monet’s paintings of Waterloo Bridge that the majority are now in museum collections throughout the world, meaning that the appearance of Waterloo Bridge, temps couvert is a rarity, a factor that is emphasized by the sheer quality and beauty of this painting.

It was in order to see his son Michel, who was ostensibly in London to improve his English, that Monet arrived in 1899 with his wife Alice and his stepdaughter, Germaine Hosched̩. His immediate rapture on seeing the view from his room must have been to the chagrin of his family, for already during this stay he embarked upon the beginning of a campaign that would last half a decade. Canvas after canvas was used in order to capture the ever-changing view from his window, and the speed with which these view changed meant that he ended the first stay frustrated, and would returnРalone, and therefore presumably without the distractions of his familyРto the same hotel in 1900 and 1901.