The painting below by Adriaan de Lelie is called 'The Art Gallery of Jan Gildemeester Jansz.' (1794-1795). Some of you may remember that I used this painting as the inspiration for the two reception rooms in my canal house 'Herengracht'. Jan Gildemeester owned the house at the end of the 18th century and had the two rooms shown in the painting remodelled to use as his art gallery.
The rooms in the painting still exist, almost exactly as they were in the time they were painted. They are part of a canal house at the Herengracht which, unfortunately for us, is not open to the general public. So, other than in photos, I had never actually seen the house inside.
That is, until two weeks ago! I was very kindly invited to come to the canal house and see the rooms in person. Needless to see I was very excited about this.
A selfie of sorts ;-) Of course this photo is all about the gorgeous overmantel with mirror and the double doors in the background. These are the doors which you can see in the painting.
A copy of the De Lelie painting is reflected in the pier glass between the windows. The room felt rather familiar to me, which wasn't that surprising as I have spent much time looking and studying photos of it. Very unreal. This photo reminded me of a photo I took a while ago of my miniature room...
I have always intended to put a pier glass between the windows and now I am even more convinced I should put a long mirror there. My rooms are not exact copies of the real rooms, but I think they have the same feel. The similar yellow colour of the curtains is a lucky coincidence.
Here's a peek into the magnificent stairwell. The incredible stucco decoration was created by the sculptor Jan van Logteren in 1736. It depicts Apollo, God of sun, light and music, and the muses Clio (history) and Melpomene (tragedy). Above them sixteen musicians with their instruments.
Sunlight streams through the windows of the beautiful cupola into the stairwell, providing a wonderful play of light and shade. Wouldn't something like this this be fantastic in miniature as well? I still have a lot of work ahead of me ;-)
The visit was very inspirational and I feel privileged to have been able to look around in one of the most beautiful canal houses in Amsterdam.