Inviting inspiration...

The painting below by Adriaan de Lelie is called 'The Art Gallery of Jan Gildemeester Jansz.' (1794-1795).   Some of you may rememb...

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 say 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.  

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30 comments

  1. What an amazing opportunity! I think your room is a perfect but not entirely the same replication of the original. You certainly have the 'feel' of the original.

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    1. Yes it was an amazing opportunity. I never set out to replicate the rooms, but was heavily inspired by them. It surprised me how similar they actually were, and indeed I got the 'feel' right.

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  2. Hi Josje, what a great opportunity and privilege! Not to mention so exciting to actually be in the rooms you have been studying so long! I bet you have really been inspired now!
    Hugs

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    1. Hi Simon, yes I feel privileged and inspired! It was very exciting to be in those rooms, a bit unreal really. I was so impressed with the efforts which are taken to preserve these rooms (the whole building really) and still keep it in use. At the moment the building is in use as offices. I would not mind working in a building like that!

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    2. It's amazing isn't it when offices are inserted into these fine old buildings. I wouldn't get any work done if I were there!

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    3. Well I suppose you'd get used to it. By the way, I left four messages on your blog on Sunday, and I got them all back saying 'Invalid recipient' and a lot of technical language. I'll try to post them again, as the Delivery Status Notification (Failure)‏ also included my original text, so I can just copy and repost. I think this has happened to me before on your blog! Don't know why though.

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  3. What a wonderful chance to visit that house. I bet you were thrilled. The pictures are beautiful. I see the resemblance of your dollhouse and the photo of the same wall. I like your cutians better then the ones in the real house!!! :-)

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    1. Hi Catherine! Yes I was thrilled. It is so wonderful to think these rooms are still looking the same as when they were created and still being used every day!
      Ha! As for the curtains, I am already thinking of making new ones, as I liked the ones in the blue room much better than these. But the blue ones are made of silk and they drape nicer. Now to find the right colour silk...That may take a couple of years, or maybe it will never happen. Oh well, as long as I'm having fun ;-)

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  4. You pictures are beautiful! I think it is incredible that the curtains were a coincidence. Lucky for you to have gotten to go in person---

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    1. Very lucky Linda! I picked the fabric for the curtains to match the wallpaper I found several years before I had even started building this room. Funny how these things go sometimes...

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  5. You are so lucky to have been able to visit in person. The building is stunning - especially the stairwell. It would take a very special miniaturist to replicate that detail but wouldn't it be lovely to see. Thank you for sharing the photos =0)

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    1. Ah yes Pepper, isn't that stairwell beautiful?! I don't want to replicate the staircase (it won't fit the space I have for it), but I do want to do something similar. But I won't build the stairwell untill after I have finished the main structure of the house, it will be many years before I start on this. But I can dream...

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  6. Wauw wat bijzonder dat je daar rond mocht kijken. Zo jammer dat het niet voor iedereen open is. Heel fijn dat dit mogelijk was voor je, ik ben benieuwd wat deze inspiratie weer voor mooie miniaturen op gaat leveren.

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    1. Dank je Inge. Ja ik vond het heel bijzonder dat ik uitgenodigd werd. Het is jammer dat het niet toegankelijk is voor het publiek (ik heb het nog gevraagd), maar de kosten om zo'n pand te onderhouden zijn zo verschrikkelijk hoog, dat dit niet mogelijk is. Zo'n pand moet als het ware de kost verdienen.

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  7. Jeetje, wát een geweldige kans!! Daar zul je ongetwijfeld nieuwe inspiratie van hebben gekregen, Josje. Ik vind het geweldig voor je, dat je dit mocht zien :D! Je zult je ogen uitgekeken hebben van al dat moois en om daar dan zo rond te mogen lopen en alles met eigen ogen te mogen aanschouwen.....!
    Fijn weekend en geniet er maar fijn van na!
    Groetjes, Ilona

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    1. Het was inderdaad geweldig Ilona, ik heb genoten. Dank je wel!

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  8. Hi Josje,
    What a wonderfull opportunity to walks straight into that painting! Well it must have felt a bit like that I guess.
    By the way last week I recieved my copy of Grachtenhuizen/Amsterdam Canal Houses by Arjan Bronkhorst full page gorgeous pictures, maybe you'll have one allready?
    Thanks for sharing,
    Jeffry.

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    1. Hi Jeffry,
      That's exactly what it felt like! Good guess ;-) It was rather strange though.
      Yes I have that book too, a really fantastic book. 'My' house is not in there, but a lot of the houses featured in the book have a similar feel. Some gorgeous interiors. I also enjoyed seeing interiors which are more personal and out of the ordinary.
      See you soon! (No I did not forget, haha).
      Josje

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  9. Hi Josje, you must be so happy and proud! Wonderful rooms, wonderful house! Hugs Hannelore

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    1. Thank you Hannelore. Yes it was a happy day!

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  10. Has sido muy afortunada con la visita. Es una gran casa.

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    1. Thank you Isabel. I feel very lucky to have been able to look around inside!

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  11. How exciting for you to have been invited to see the real property and inspirational too, I'm sure. The plasterwork in the stairwell is just amazing - I wonder how that could be recreated in mini? Probably a long term project!

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    1. Definitely a log term project Irene! I won't be recreating the plasterwork exactly as I don't have the room for it in my dolls house, but I was thinking of sculpting some pieces in Fimo and then cast them in plaster. Or something like that. But I'll figure it out when I get to it (which won't be soon).

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  12. Hello Josje,
    thank you for the wonderful pictures! The building is amazingly beautiful! That's another place on my "must see" list.
    Big hug,
    Giac

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    1. Oh I do hope you'll come over here and visit one day Giac! I'd love to meet up with you then!

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  13. What a stunning house! And what a challenge to produce even a semblance of it in miniature. You do such wonderful work that I'll be interested to see what you do.

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    1. Thank you Sandra! But I hope you have patience as this will be a looooooong term project...

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