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SIGNATURE MOMENT
Delving into the Dutch Masters of the 1600s at the Rijksmuseum
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Immersing yourself in Ghent’s ancient and modern architecture
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Lingering along Bruges’ canal-lined streets
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Touring the Mauritshuis’s superb collection in The Hague
SIGNATURE MOMENT
Engaging with Sean Forester’s art and literature seminars

Slant of Light: Dutch and Flemish Old Masters

Sep 10-21, 2022

12 days | Netherlands | Literary Adventures

Readings
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, by Dominic Smith
Introductions to Rembrandt and Vermeer, published by Taschen
Selected reading from the Bible and 20th-century poetry to accompany the seminars on painting

The glint of light in an eye, breakfast on the table, clouds gathering over fields—Dutch and Flemish master painters transformed everyday scenes into something lasting and beautiful. Step back into early modern Amsterdam with Rembrandt, Vermeer, Judith Leyster, Jacob van Ruisdael and others. Through guided museum visits, seminar discussions and walks among the city’s gabled roofs and shimmering canals, understand how these artists used light, colour and texture to capture their world.

It was a world of innovation and thriving trade, of fortunes built on shipbuilding, fishing, textiles and porcelain. Amsterdam was a cosmopolitan centre infused with a spirit of pluralism, a city populated by communities of Huguenots, Jews, and free Black citizens. Yet it was a world bound to the slave trade and colonial empire. How did Dutch painters see and understand the energy, complexity and contradictions around them?

The 17th century, often called the Golden Age, will be at the centre of our tour. We’ll explore its roots in the Renaissance painters of the court of Burgundy, which included much of the Netherlands and Belgium. The meticulous realism and brilliant colour of Jan van Eyck’s painting parallels the gothic architecture we’ll see in Ghent, Bruges and Brussels. We’ll explore these intricate masterpieces as well as the more visionary, even surreal, painting of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Hieronymus Bosch. Finally, we’ll follow the thread forward to modern masters, exploring how Rembrandt’s uncompromising realism influenced Vincent van Gogh and how gothic interest in natural forms was echoed by Victor Horta and art nouveau.

The many major exhibits on 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painting in recent years show this art still resonates. What does it say to you? Find out on this Classical Pursuits tour that combines expert guidance with ample free time to enjoy the picturesque streets and squares and multicultural atmosphere of four dynamic northern European cities.



 
DIG DEEPER
 
Sean recently hosted a two-part "armchair art tour" webinar series about Dutch painting. Click here to find them in our webinar library.
 
Sean also recommends CBC Listen's Ideas with Nahlah Ayed episodes on Rembrandt. Click here to find those titled Rembrandt in Amsterdam Parts I and II from February 3rd and 10th, respectively.

You may also enjoy the NY Times Daily Podcast on Rembrandt. Click here to listen now.
Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. US$4995
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants

What’s included: Accommodation based on double occupancy; most meals; transportation by private coach or by train; all activities and entrance fees; services of specialized English-speaking guides; all taxes and gratuities; six seminars with Sean Forester; hosted by Sean Forester; readings

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Meet in Amsterdam
2The Rijksmuseum with specialist guides
3Touring the Amsterdam of Rembrandt van Rijn in the 1600s
4Visit the private family-owned Collectie Six
5Excursion to The Hague, visit the Mauritshuis residence
6Amsterdam at leisure
7Drive through the scenic southwest of Holland to Ghent
8Excursion to Bruges by train, one of Europe’s best-preserved cities
9Taking in Ghent, visit to St. Bavo’s Cathedral
10Drive to Brussels, visit the Royal Museums of Fine Arts
11Visit the Horta Museum, afternoon at leisure in the city
12Depart Brussels
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Your Tour Leader

Sean Forester is a San Francisco–based artist and lecturer. He lived in Italy for ten years and trained as a classical painter at the Florence Academy of Art. Sean is Director of Art History, Humanities, and Composition at the Golden Gate Atelier.

Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. US$4995
Group Size:
12 - 16 participants

What’s included: Accommodation based on double occupancy; most meals; transportation by private coach or by train; all activities and entrance fees; services of specialized English-speaking guides; all taxes and gratuities; six seminars with Sean Forester; hosted by Sean Forester; readings

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Slant of Light: Dutch and Flemish Old Masters

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