Photo courtesy of Konghuset
Held under the theme, Friendship, the 55-day festival transforms Amsterdam:
“…every year into a true city of lights with the help of contemporary (inter)national light artists. During the annual festival for young and old, both the residents of Amsterdam and the city’s many visitors are treated to a spectacle of light. At the same time, the festival offers talented (young) light artists a platform to present their latest work.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Amsterdam Light Festival please click here.
Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH
On Friday, November 27, 2015, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands opened the exhibition, Spaanse Meesters uit de Hermitage: De Wereld van El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya (Spanish Masters from the Hermitage: The World of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya), at the Hermitage Amsterdam in Amsterdam.
The exhibition displays over sixty paintings including The Apostles Peter and Paul by El Greco, Velázquez’s Portrait of the Count Duke of Olivares, Murillo’s Immaculate Conception, and Goya’s Portrait of the Actress Antonia Zárate.
According to a press release the exhibition tells the story of the rise and glory of Spanish art in the Golden Age which began in the late sixteenth century:
“…and flourished throughout the seventeenth century, coinciding with the Dutch Golden Age. While the Netherlands was revolting against Spanish rule, Spain was developing its own artistic signature. Philip II, an absolute monarch in a society dominated by the Catholic Church, commissioned the construction of El Escorial in 1563. The enormous palace and monastery complex near Madrid was decorated by great Spanish and Italian masters. Spain’s unimaginable wealth, amassed largely during the country’s period of colonial gold fever – Spain called itself ‘the Empire on which the sun never sets’ – brought painters abundant commissions for the king, churches and private collectors. Spanish art flourished.
The works of the great Spanish painters are exceptional for their exquisite convergence of the spiritual and the theatrical. Influenced by the Italians, painters like El Greco, Ribera and Zurbarán developed a singular Spanish style marked by strong contrasts of light and dark. Their works exude the temperament and pride of the Iberian Peninsula. Murillo and in particular Velázquez, a trendsetter, added their own signature to that style and reached new heights. Goya, an equally awe-inspiring talent, followed in their footsteps with his confrontational realism. Goya is also famous for his penetrating graphic cycles and a number of his dramatic etchings are featured in the exhibition, including pieces from Los Desastres de la Guerra, depicting the horrors of the Napoleonic occupation of Spain. The artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries continued the tradition, rendering the strong contrasts in society in works that reflect both the sun-drenched Spanish culture and the dark sides of history…”
Spaanse Meesters uit de Hermitage: De Wereld van El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya will be open to the public beginning on November 28, 2015 – May 29, 2016 at the Hermitage Amsterdam.
Photo courtesy of RVD/HKH
On Friday, November 27, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attended the closing session of the financial support workshops for women entitled, Kracht On Tour, held at the Fokker Terminal in Den Haag.
According to AFP News the workshops “…deal with financial independence for women and encourage women to grab more chances to use their talents on the work floor…”
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/M.Porro
On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan met with the Director-General of the Arab Reading Challenge, Ms. Najla Al Shamesi, in Amman.
During their meeting Her Majesty was informed about the Arab Reading Challenge initiative which “…supports for efforts to increase awareness on the importance of reading among students in the Arab world…” writes the Jordan Times.
Established in September 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai the Arab Reading Challenge is noted to be largest project aimed at encouraging students in the Arab world to read, with more than a million students committing to read 50 million extracurricular books every academic year.
Overall, the initiative aims to encourage reading on a continuous basis through a comprehensive system of incentives and follow-up mechanisms throughout the academic year. The Emirates News Agency notes that the “…challenge also includes several rounds of evaluation and qualification at the level of each school, educational zone, country, and finally the Arab world. The challenge seeks to create a new generation with excellent reading skills and a thirst for knowledge.”
On Thursday, November 26, 2015, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales visited Maseru, Lesotho, on behalf of the charity, Sentebale.
The day began with a meeting with the Prime Minister of Lesotho, Dr. Pakalitha Mosili. Prince Harry also met with His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho.
In the afternoon, the popular prince officially opened the £2 million Mamohato Children’s Centre at Thaba Bosiu. According to ITV News, the center is “…a purpose-built home for the organization’s (Sentebale) work with disadvantaged children and other youngsters living with HIV.”
For more information about today’s opening as well as to view photos please click the links below.
And, finally, here is the 2004 documentary, that you may enjoy entitled, The Forgotten Kingdom: Prince Harry in Lesotho.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Chris Jackson
On the evening of November 24, 2015, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco attended the 4th Edition of the Trophées du Club de l’Éco Monaco award ceremony held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte-Carlo.
The awards are given to outstanding entrepreneurs and to “…reward those who contribute to promote Monegasque excellence.”