Canadian Impressionism in Munich

The HypoKulturhalle in the Theatinerstraße of Munich has a fascinating exhibition currently running of Canadians, mostly born at the turn of the century, who decided to travel to Paris and attend famous schools of Art. One group was the “Group of Seven” and the others were named after the building they met in in 1910, “Beaver Hall” in Montreal.

From Paris, they fanned out to many other places in Europe, such as Venice, Spain, Germany, but also back to their native Canada with its large expanses of trees and pastures.

Sometimes one has a feeling of déjà-vu, like the lady with the umbrella from Monet, or his painting of coquelicots / poppies, the colors and a touch of Seurat’s pointillisme, a painting of the Seine and its houseboats, a bourgeois family dressed in white, the peasants in rough brown cloth.

One recurrent motif are children in the middle of light-speckled surroundings, reading on a sofa, having a family picnic, carrying flowers and looking at butterflies – which idealizes the peasant girl. The more affluent young lady reclining on a bench at the beach is once again dressed in elegant white with a matching hat: tanned skin is for the working class, not for the noblesse.

Another common motif are young women, sewing, knitting, reading, reclining on a divan, many clothed in Japanese-patterned robes and dresses, among them one nude’s back.

A very Canadian motif are trees, maple trees with buckets, birches in the wind, fir trees laden with heavy snow on their boughs. Not to forget the fields and the rivers with boats and cargo.

Regular rates are €12,-, 11,- for students and half-rate on Mondays. Lockers, a cloakroom, a café and a nearby subway station Odeonsplatz, as well as audio guides, lectures and curator tours are regular features.

Danube : 1st stop Passau

Passau is a very nice little town right where the three rivers converge (read also my post from May 26 2019). The three rivers are the “blue Danube“, which is only blue if the sky is reflected, the “schwarze “Ilz”, a small confluent which is black due to sediment, and the “grüne Inn” which is really rather green. As Passau was the beginning of our trip down the Danube, we arrived early to see some of the sights at more leisure than with the large group.

At the tip of the peninsula (photo in the middle) you can clearly see the two larger rivers Inn and Danube converge with the Ilz coming down the valley and joining them. There is a ripple in the water where the currents with two different colors flow headlong into each other.

We found a very nice hotel Residenz at the water’s edge with a full view of the castle. So we started off with the castle, Veste and drove up to the top. The parking lots are near the youth hostel, you walk past a lookout and the restaurant. When entering the walls you will see the elevator going down to the museums. The special exhibition is about 800 years Veste: the first foundations, the ceramic tile ovens, the coat of arms, statues, carvings. In one courtyard you can relax on deckchairs, sculptures adorn the large inner courtyard which leads to the other smaller museums. One museum is about fire engines, one about apothecaries, one about trade and one about porcelain.

Afterwards we drove down to the opposite peninsula to check out the small Roman museum built over some of the ruins that had been dug up. The museum has some excellent exhibits and a good video, unfortunately there is no snack bar near by. Parking is in front and free during the visit.

After lunch we walked into the hotel lobby of the Wilder Mann on the Rathausplatz, which has the largest collection of blown glass that I have ever seen. This enormous glass museum was opened in 1985 by Neil Armstrong, the owner Georg Höltl was able to buy many articles for little money. You start up in the 4th floor and work your way down with glass vases and mugs tucked into the very last corner under stairs and over doorways. You will need a lot of time to look at all the objects of each century and types of glass that are documented here. Nevertheless, it is worth its while, or just walk through the more interesting exhibits. The exit goes through the cellar out to the street.

In the evening we walked through the cobblestone streets past the Artist’s Alley to the Rosengasse where all the Italian restaurants were celebrating Ferragosto. From afar you could tell there was a party going on, several bands and duos and solists singing at every corner, lots of underwear and sheets strung up across the streets. We checked out quite a few restaurants until we finally found two seats at a beer table for 8 people. Everyone was quite jolly, even though half the meals served were not what we had ordered.

Monday was dedicated to the Organ concert in the Cathedral, the largest organ of the entire world. It is split into 5 separate organs placed on the balcony, at the sides of the altar and the fifth integrated into the ceiling. Each one is built differently, Italian or German and has its own sound and pitch. All five with over 17,900 pipes are coordinated on one manual. Tickets can be bought in the inside courtyard, every day but Sunday. Nearby you will walk past the Ministry of Justice and the Passauer Tölpel.

We had a nice walk to the tip of the peninsula with shade trees and lots of people to watch the three rivers flow together and up to the castle.

The next morning we had to leave and go on board the Viktoria. It involved finding the parking lot on the outskirts and taking the shuttle bus back to the river dock, where the Viktoria and Máxima were waiting. About 150 passengers fit in plus about 40 crew members. 14 days packed with new impressions on the Danube! Stay tuned.