In our countdown to Amsterdam, we show sketches made in Amsterdam by some of the ‘old masters’ and pictures of the views as they are now.

by Roger Klaassen

Martin Monnickendam (1874 – 1943) was a dutch painter. Even if he is not so well-known today, he was very popular at the start of the twentieth century, with expositions in several European cities, and even some in the US. His work is very colourful – other artists didn’t like to have their works hanging ‘in the shadow’ besides Monnickendams works.

Monnickendam made many watercolour and pastel sketches of Amsterdam (and anywhere else where he was traveling). You could say that of the six artists in our countdown, he is most like a modern day ‘urban sketcher’. Interestingly, he also made reportages in drawings for the press.

Monnickendam was Jewish, and in 1943 he was on the list to be deported to one of the nazi concentration camps. Just before deportation, he died of pneumonia, 69 years old.

The sketches we show here were made in 1916 and 1917 and are characteristic of his Amsterdam ‘urban sketches’: bright, colourful and full of life.

This sketch shows a cantilever bridge at the Prinseneiland (Island of Princes). It is still there, reday to be sketches by you.

A view on the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge), which can be found close to our ‘Drink and Draw venue’ Amstelhoeck. The bridge crosses the river Amstel.

The Leidscheplein. Then and now, this square is one of Amsterdams most popular places to spend your day and night: cafés, theatres, restaurants, dance clubs, cinemas, etcetera.

Martin Monnickendam may be the most unknown artist in our Countdown to Amsterdam series, the artist of our next and final episode is one of the most famous people of the twentieth century – but not for his drawings!