Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Dutch Masters

What do we think about when we think about Amsterdam?

Morey (nee Moritz) Amsterdam.
Mr. Amsterdam once called Hollywood ''the kind of place where the skeletons in the closet are ashamed of the people who live in the house.''

The Human Joke Machine.

Some think of Anne Frank. Her house is a major attraction in the town.

Then there are the canals. "Oh, yeah, obviously the canals,. I mean the canals go
without saying, don't they?

The canals were built in the 17th century as a tourist attraction to compete with Bruge and EuroDisney,

And Pulp Fiction. Let's hear it directly from Vincent and Jules.

Royale with Cheese.

For me, Amsterdam is the moment when I encountered "De Staalmeesters- The Syndics; the sampling Officials (Wardens) of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild, 1662," painted by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, a local artist at the time. (You should really click on the link because whoever wrote about this painting is super smart.)

Terrific picture. There were lots of us taking photos of the paintings. They even let people take flash pictures. Very paparazzi. But did any of them had the deep connection to the cigar company. To Ernie Kovacs. To Edie Adams. Black and white TV. As if the years were suddenly turned back and a 9 year old kid watches a very goofy man with a thick mustache and an achingly gorgeous chanteuse.

Adams and Kovacs

Adams and Kovacs brought to you by The Dutch Masters. Let's face it, Rembrandt was unknown at the time and considered a square by the pop art crowd and the "thrown the paint on the canvas and sell it to people" movement.

The Dutch Masters took a chance and put the neglected artist on their box.

Now, it is hard to believe but this painting of Rembrandt is worth more than the cigar company.

And that is why there will always be an Amsterdam.

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