This chapter from Julian Porter’s essential companion to all the major European museums and galleries discusses some of the greatest paintings to be found in the museums and galleries of The Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. His passion for art began with the seven years he spent as a student tour guide in Europe. In this segment he visits Amsterdam, Stockholm, The Hague, Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent and discusses works by the Dutch masters such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Van Eyck, but also Van Gogh and Renoir.
In the usually pretentious arena of art connoisseurs, Porter’s voice stands out as fresh and original. He finds the best of the best, which he describes with entertaining irreverence, and spares you hours of sore feet and superfluous information.
Packing your bags for a European trip that includes visits to art galleries and museums? Be sure to tuck in this guide written for the "gallery-going novice." Not only will it save its readers time, sore feet and frustration by providing essential information about gallery locations, hours, closures and ticket-booking procedures, but Porter, a barrister and art critic, offers fresh insights into works in those famous galleries. The 149 "show-stoppers" he has chosen as must sees are accompanied by reproductions, and his comments about the paintings' history time, place, customs, context, style, and technique are refreshingly distinct from the usual gallery audio tour. He is forthright, sometimes irreverent, always entertaining, insightful, sensitive, and exceptionally attentive to unique details. The paintings come from 62 galleries in Eastern and Western Europe and Scandinavia, including the Louvre, the Prado, the Hermitage, the Rijksmuseum, the Sistine Chapel, and the National Gallery. The book's bold title reflects Porter's justified confidence in his critiques sufficient to allow him to give a thumbs-down to the number one choice of the 1985 Illustrated London News's top 20 paintings in the world. Luckily, this "must-have" travelling companion is available as an e-book for easy packing.