Celebrate Tulips in AmsterdamMarch 4, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox
Art and flower fans will have a great reason to visit Amsterdam this spring. Starting on March 2 and running through June 1, the city's iconic Rijksmuseum will exhibit prints and drawings of tulips from the 17th and 18th centuries. The highlight of the presentation will be the tulip book created by Jacob Marrel between 1637 and 1639. (This is a pretty exciting opportunity: Complete tulip books are extremely rare, and the Marrel is seldom exhibited in public.)
Jacob Marrel’s tulip book was probably a kind of catalogue used by customers for ordering their tulip bulbs. The book, still in its original binding, contains around 80 pages depicting scores of tulips, predominantly in red and purple. In the 17th century, ‘variegated tulips’ were the most popular. These ‘flaming’ tulips were not one single color, but had white or yellow as the base color, with red or purple as a second color. They were given names such as Spinnekoop, Condé de Flandez, Bruit van Leide and La Bella Sultana.
The presentation will also contain various color prints of tulips, cartoons about tulip-bulb speculation, and a Vanitas print comparing human life to the short-lived existence of a flower.
Starting from the opening of the Keukenhof on March 18, the Rijksmuseum will be working together with the world's most popular springtime attraction. One ticket will provide admission to both the Rijksmuseum and the Keukenhof, with the option for additional transport, a visit to Haarlem and overnight accommodation.
The Rijksmuseum will be planting extra tulips in its garden to mark the presentation. The black Ayaan tulip will also be in bloom, named after public figure and politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Additionally, the museum shop will contain a bigger focus on tulip products.
On April 24 and 25, Museum Van Loon and landscape gardener Saskia Albrecht will be organizing the inaugural Amsterdam Tulip Days, during which the gardens of the city, including those of the Rijksmuseum and Jan Luykenstraat, will feature tulips in bloom.