- 12 Maximum group size
15th May 2014 –
19th May 2014
- 5 View Itinerary
- Art enthusiasts, Culture Vultures, Historians
- View Accommodation
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An Inspired Journey
The golden age of Amsterdam
A luxury guided art tour with Urban Larsson
This exclusive experience takes you through the history of the Golden Age of Amsterdam with a focus on Dutch art from this remarkable era. With the help of our specialists on the ground we have created a five day journey to give you very special access into private homes, painters’ studios and visits to some of the city’s best museums out of hours.
"What this unique journey aims to do is give you an inside track into Amsterdam’s golden past through visits to people and places, some of which are normally closed to the public".
Amongst the special access we have arranged a very special visit to the private studio of well-known portrait painter, Urban Larsson. Urban is a traditional oil painter and, as well as portraits, he paints beautiful still lives, landscapes and nudes. He only paints from life and in a particular style that has evolved over more than five centuries of artistic traditions.
At his studio you see his latest collection of work and discuss his fascinating techniques. He will then personally host a home-cooked dinner for you and chat freely about his life and trade, which has taken him all over the world in the pursuit of reaching perfection in the style of traditional realism.
What this unique journey aims to do is give you an inside track into Amsterdam’s golden past through visits to people and places, some of which are normally closed to the public. The 17th Century in this city was an age in which Dutch trade, science, art and military force was of the most accomplished in the world. It was a time of great opulence, discovery and achievement and we have aimed to recreate this sense of excitement and discovery as you journey through the age-old streets, canals and elegant private houses of Amsterdam.
Arrive into Amsterdam
We suggest arriving into Amsterdam in the early afternoon to allow time to settle into the hotel and perhaps take a short wander around the pretty cobbled streets. At approximately 5pm we have then arranged for a local historian to give a short introduction to the Golden Age of Amsterdam, which will help to set the scene for the days ahead.
Rijksmuseum and the Dutch East India Company
This morning we will visit the recently reopened Rijksmuseum. This excellent museum is home to the works of Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer and our private guide has the expert knowledge required to help us view these paintings in a whole new light.
After visiting the museum we will have a few hours to discover Amsterdam at our own leisure before coming together on the banks of a canal. Here we will board a private saloon boat, where we will glide through the canals of the city. We have arranged a guest speaker to chat informally about the 17th Century and its fascinating history with the Dutch East India Company.
This will be followed by a very special visit of the private residence of the van Loon family. In 1602 Willem van Loon co-founded the Dutch East India Company and his success as a tradesman is reflected in the opulence of his elegant home.
We have left the rest of the afternoon free to relax before an early evening private exploration of The Hermitage art museum. A special dinner will be held at the Hermitage itself with its twinkling views of the Amstel River.
Private Evening with Urban Larsson
After breakfast Dutch glass expert, Kitty Lameris and ceramics expert, Robert Aronson will come to the hotel to discuss the importance of this trade during the 17th Century. If the weather permits this will be an informal discussion in the hotels’ pretty courtyard garden.
This will be followed by a guided visit to the Amsterdam Museum where we will have the opportunity to explore the Golden Age exhibition. After lunch, there will be an optional visit to a 17th Century Catholic church. The church is hidden behind the façade of a typical Dutch townhouse and was built during the Reformation when Catholics were forbidden to hold public services.
There will then be time to rest back at the hotel or, for those who would like to continue the adventure, we have arranged a fun tasting of fine liqueurs at Wynand Fockink, a distillery dating back to 1679. There is an extraordinary collection of antique bottles still lined up on the dusty, ancient shelves and we will be able to explore the rooms where various liqueurs are still made today.
This evening we will come together at Urban Larsson’s private studio, which was formally the studio of Dutch impressionist, GH Breitner. Urban will personally discuss his influences in his works of art before he hosts a special dinner surrounded by his art. This will be a rare opportunity to meet one of Amsterdam’s most influential working artists in a private and intimate setting.
The Six Collection and Dinner at Rembrandt's Kitchen
After breakfast you will be met by your private guide and taken to the Six Collection in the private home of Jan Six XI. Jan Six (1618 – 1700) was a well-to-do magistrate and avid collector and patron of the arts. His friendship with Rembrandt and Vondel has been well documented and his impressive collection has been kept within the direct descendents of his family.
Those who with an interest in 17th Century silver and jewelry can then meet Anne Marie Verbeek to chat to her and hear about her specialist knowledge on this subject. We will arrange an informal lunch in one of our favourite local restaurants and the afternoon has been left free for everyone to explore Amsterdam at their own pace. This evening you will be taken for a very special dinner in the homely kitchen of the house where Rembrandt lived between 1639 and 1658.
Scheepvaart Museum Depart Amsterdam
This morning we will visit the Scheepvaart Museum, home to one of the world's biggest collections of nautical art and artifacts, including globes, paintings and ship models. It shows the great importance of the seafaring history during these golden ages in Amsterdam. This will neatly round off your journey through the Golden Age in this thriving city.
We have then left the rest of the morning free for some last minute shopping or exploring before our private transfer back to the airport.
16th September – 20th September
Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam
The Pulitzer has been carefully put together from a collection of beautifully restored 17th and 18th Century canal houses right on the edge of a peaceful canal in the old part of the city centre. For those wishing to explore the lively cafes, museums and galleries which make this city such a draw, the Pulitzer is the ideal retreat as it is right at the heart of all the action. Each spacious room is uniquely designed combining local art or ornaments that represent Dutch history and culture with tasteful contemporary furniture. The pretty central courtyard and garden is overflowing with greenery amidst urban Amsterdam, where guests can hide away for a few hours in tranquillity and enjoy a delicious dinner out on the sunny terrace.
Urban Larsson, born in 1966 in Stockholm, has lived and worked in Amsterdam for the past 19 years. Larsson studied History of Art at the University of Stockholm and one year of Architecture at the royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He then moved to Florence, Italy, to study at Studio Cecil&Graves, the only atelier in Europe where Traditional Realism was taught. He spent nearly three years there, learning these unique styles and being introduced to the visual language and techniques of painters from earlier centuries. After studies in Florence, Larsson moved to Amsterdam to begin his painting career. As part of his continuing education, he has copied paintings in museums in Antwerp and Madrid.
His portraits are painted only from life through sittings. His studio catches light from the north and is a much-frequented spot for people looking for classical but non-photographic portraiture. Through his working methods Larsson is directly linked to the great portrait painters and studios of the 17th century and he prepares his materials and paint using the time-tested techniques of that same century.
Urban Larsson regularly paints abroad, and his international portrait commissions have come from England, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmarkand the United States. His many sitters have included: the President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, Professor Dr. P.J.D. Drenth; the former Mayor of Wassenaar, Dr. P.H. Schoute; the Bishop of Haarlem, T.J. Horstman; the former Italian Ambassador to the Netherlands, the Hon. Count A. Pietromarchi; Willem F.C. Stevens of Baker & McKenzie; Wim Meyer of Rabobank. Larsson's prestigious portrait commissions include the 2010 official portrait of the President of the House of Representatives of the State General in the Netherlands, Gerdi Verbeet. He also painted the official portrait of former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok.
Larsson exhibited throughout Europe and in the United States to much acclaim. Several of his paintings have been used as covers for recently published books. Since 2007, he is painting in the former studio of G.H. Breitner om Prinseneiland, Amsterdam. He lives with his wife, Lara, who is Dutch, and their three children.
Eurostar Trains have a direct connection between London and Amsterdam. Train times to be confirmed as soon as the schedule for May 2014 is released.
Please contact us for a quote including on flights.
We can also include flights from the United States so please do let us know where you are travelling from and we will send you the best flight routes with a quote.
Based on 12 adults travelling and sharing double rooms throughout
The price quoted includes the following:
All meals accompanied with soft drinks, house wine and beer
All road transfers as specified
Guiding and excursions as specified
Fees and other entry fees
The price quoted does not include:
Scheduled International flights. Please call us to quote on these
Premium drinks and tips
Any other extras
Single supplements (please contact us for details)