Saturday, March 27, 2010

Leuven, Belgium trip March 2010 - Pen & Ink and Watercolor Drawings in Moleskine and Dirk Bouts paintings

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drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Het Moorinneken building on the Grote Markt in Leuven, Belgium
~ March 2010 ~
Pen and ink with watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook
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I sat across the street from that building, at the Café Agora, to draw the view. "Het Moorinneken" means "The Moorish Woman" - she is depicted as a bust over the entrance. I have no idea what the building was originally used for, but she was beautiful ; surrounded by gold gilt seashells and flowers. Perhaps, at one time, it was a jeweler's or gold trader's business, because there were also little golden gnomes (carrying large sacks of gold) carved and guilded on the side of that building.
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Oh! There were yellow bells with green ribbons hanging over the streets of Leuven ... for Easter. At first I thought they had left up Christmas decorations, but it seems the bells are a big thing for Easter in Leuven. Even bells made out of chocolate were in the candy shops (chocolatiers).
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Drawing all those bricks in the Groot Begijnhof ...
drawings copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
left: Niche Sculpture Over a Door, Groot Begijnhof - Leuven
right: Buildings in the Spanish Quarter, Groot Begijnhof - Leuven, Belgium
~ March 2010 ~
Pen and Ink with watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook
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Again, I have no idea who the sculpture depicts in that niche over a house in the Groot Begijnhof ??! Anyone has a clue, let me know...please! I just liked the look of it when I saw it , so I had to draw it.
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On to something modern ...
drawing copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Upstairs in the Café Mezzanine - Leuven, Belgium
~ March 2010 ~
Pen and ink with colored pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
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We had dinner in the upper level of the Café Mezzanine (which is just around the corner from the Grote Markt). Café Mezzanine is a very lively bistro/café, with these giant glitter ball lights hanging from the ceiling - I was pratically sitting next to one up there. lol! I started the drawing before our appetizer of fried calamari arrived - that's what those little rings are along the bottom edge of the drawing ... lol. They were quite tasty and the two sauces were lovely (pesto & garlic and a spicy sweet-sour). I continued working on the drawing before our main course arrived. Did more filling-in on the drawing the next day in the hotel ... while it was raining outside.
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It's so nice to get a coffee in Belgium, since you always get chocolate with it! :o)

drawings copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
left: Lucky Sugar & Chocolates at the Café Agora in Leuven
right: House door in the Groot Begijnhof - Leuven, Belgium
~ March 2010 ~
Pen and ink with watercolors in Moleskine sketchbook
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Lucky Sugar! Yes, Lucky Sugar! I loved that little packet of sugar, so I kept them everytime we took a break at the Café Agora. heh heh . The other drawing, of a door in the Groot Begijnhof, just took my fancy in its simplicity - I wondered what was behind it and thought how nice it would be to have a front door like that.
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That's all the drawing I did in Leuven. Lots to see, too much to choose from.
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Dirk Bouts - a little Art History moment
Admiring the work of a Master painter ...
photo copyright 2010 J. Nijholt-Strong
Dirk Bouts
The Martyrdom of St Erasmus
ca. 1458
oil on wood panel - (tryptich)
Sint Peterskerk - Leuven, Belgium
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photo copyright 2010 J. Nijholt-Strong
Dirk Bouts
Altarpiece of the Holy Sacrament (center panel The Last Supper)
c. 1464-67
oil on panel
Sint Peterskerk - Leuven, Belgium
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I was happy to be able to sit and admire (for as long as I wanted to) the two paintings by the 15th century Netherlandish master painter, Dirk Bouts. These two works are in the Sint Peterskerk (St. Peter's Church) in Leuven. The "Last Supper" center panel of the "Altarpiece of the Holy Sacrament" is said, by many art historians, to be the first Last Supper ever painted by a medieval Netherlandish artist. I truly enjoy this beautiful piece for its honesty (imo).
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That's all for now.
Tot ziens,
Judy
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6 comments:

Meisie said...

all? wow, this is a wondeful post! Love all your drawings...that first one is great (I also thought they were slow to take Xmas down LOL...and the BegijnHof sculpture...does that have to do with cacao? SAmerica? Inca/Maya etc? - I notice it is in the spanish quarter)That is what it makes me think of. Your sketches are major inspirations, as always! Thank you so much for the visual treat!

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Hmmm ... interesting thought, Meisie. Now I wonder about that sculpture and if it does have anything to do with cacao. I can't remember right now if that particular doorway was right in the Spanish Quarter of the Begijnhof. I think it was not far from the Spanish Quarter area though. It was sort of near a building in the Begijnhof that had a sculpture of St. Nicholas on the gevel niche, so who knows maybe it does have something to with cacao! ;o) The figure does look like a S. American, Caribbean or Central American native being... possibly someone who became a saint?
I dunno!! I'm not Catholic!! LOL

ty, as always, for the compliments.

Judy

Threadspider said...

Thanks for the introduction to Leuven, it looks fascinating. And the sketches are truly inspiring. Thank you for posting them.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Thank You!, Treadspider :o)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone is intrested in Leuven :D btw, I think that's a Roman soldier helmet and a small sword at the sculpture's feet?
and behind the door isn't much to see actually x) just a simple house with a simple garden :) but it's very peaceful there x)

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

Ahhh Anonymous! thanks!! Yes, I can see that now, since you mentioned it, a Roman helmet & sword.

Leuven is lovely :)I hope to go back sometime in the spring or summer of next year ... it's not like its so far away. LOL

thanks again :)
Judy

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