Dutch Delight

Epic Skies

I recently stumbled over something called the Dutch Light, apparently an ancient theory postulating that the light is different in Holland than anywhere else in the world. Having come to the world’s attention by the Dutch paintings, it was supposed to possess a specific quality, clarity and brightness not shared by anything else in the world. Sadly, though, it lost it’s power sometime during the past century:

Maar volgens de Duitse kunstenaar Joseph Beuys heeft het Hollandse licht halverwege de vorige eeuw zijn specifieke helderheid verloren. Daarmee kwam volgens hem een einde aan een eeuwenoude visuele cultuur.

The idea in itself fascinaties me so much, that it warrants a deeper look into the idea. Aside from a few pleasantries (“Does the light change immediately upon crossing the border or does it fade out?”), the idea seems almost too absurd to NOT be true. and an element of it certainly rings true in many photos I took over the years. Does or did the sun shine differently on Holland? Why would the light suddenly change? I am so confused.

Comment 1

  1. kas January 23, 2011

    it’s so true! remember exchanging pics of the Hague’s / Berlin’s sky …! remarkable! next time you’re here we should go to the Rijksmuseum and check them all out.. print your pics and let’s compare 😉
    have a good night lars

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