Art Whispers Romance
Let’s talk about romance. All forms of it. The flowery, chocolatey (yet still cliché) kind, all the way to the subtle, arty kind. The romantic spectrum is broad, but a current exhibition at the Groninger Museum displays the subtle, arty kind. Literally. To be really formal with terms, the current art exhibition shows the paintings of the Romantic art movement (1700s–1800s), with artworks from two of the movement’s biggest names: Casper David Friedrich and J.M.W. Turner.
It may sound like a really hippie, overly poetic thing to say but the paintings in the exhibition speak in romance. From their soft brush strokes creating a heightened sense of whimsical realism, it’s difficult not to get swept up in the emotions of the paintings. Sure, nearly all of the paintings depict nature, a subject painted millions of times before, but nature is an ever-changing yet permanent source of inspiration, and not just for artists. The changing of the times (and tides– some of the ocean paintings…. too beautiful to describe in words so it must be seen in person!) are effortlessly expressed with emotional grandeur.
Personally, I was really impressed that the Groninger Museum exhibited such famous works. Friedrich and Turner are some of the biggest names in the art world (and historically significant) and for their names and works to be shown in an art Museum in a Dutch city not largely known for their art (because it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere) is something quite spectacular for me and my fellow art students. It also highlights a fairly strong art scene in this place, meaning there is something for everyone in this student city whose name can barely be pronounced by internationals.
The exhibition goes on until the 15th of April– leaving plenty of time to take a visit! You’re not an art fanatic? Take someone with you who is, and go make fun of the paintings in order to gauge their reactions. I’m an art student, and I went with someone with little interest in the art world, but having him there made the exhibition a whole lot more entertaining. The way they described the paintings is hilarious to me and still fascinating– a contrast in thinking that provided so many inside jokes about the people in the paintings all the way to the types of gifts in the museum gift shop. Additionally, this way, you’re more motivated to view the rest of the exhibition if you find the subject matter not quite up your alley. Nevertheless, I do not say this should be the primary reason that you go but if you really need that extra impetus to visit an art exhibition, I am all for it!
Even better, if you have never been to the Groninger Museum because you know it’s an art museum and as mentioned before, you aren’t an art fanatic, just know that as a student in Groningen you’re entitled to free entry to the museum. If you’re a student anywhere else it will cost you. Points to Groningen, eh? Therefore, not wanting to spend money should most definitely not be any kind of obstacle, either ;)