Monet in Zaandam
Claude Monet visited Zaandam in 1871. The famous French painter was so impressed by the Zaan landscape, the windmills, the wooden houses, and the Zaan river that he created an astounding 25 paintings and 9 sketches of the landscape.
During his stay in the Netherlands, Monet wrote to his friend Camille Pissarro: ‘Zaandam is quite remarkable and there is enough to paint for a lifetime. Houses in all colours, hundreds of mills, and delightful boats.’
A source of inspiration
At the Zaans Museum, Monet’s The Voorzaan and the Westerhem is displayed alongside the work of other artists who used the Zaan landscape as their source of inspiration. In addition, all 25 paintings and 9 sketches that Monet produced in Zaandam in 1871 can be seen in full-size in an interactive presentation.
The picturesque Zaan landscape enamoured Claude Monet and other painters in that time and drew them to the Zaan region, just as many local and international visitors are intrigued to visit the Zaanse Schans, which is home to the Zaans Museum.
Just like the painters of the nineteenth century, modern-day tourists still come to see that world-famous piece of Holland: the endless lowland with typically Dutch wide-open skies dotted with clouds, windmills, and wooden houses.
After 1871, industrialization notably changed the Zaan landscape. In the presentation you’ll see how painters that followed Monet, would often leave the factories, roads, and train tracks out of their works. They held fast onto the romantic image of the region, or following Monet, consciously or subconsciously, presented an impressionistic interpretation.