La Grande Bleue

"The Great Blue": From Idyllic Shores to Refugee Boats

Online reservations were necessary for “La Grande Bleue: Painters of the Mediterranean,” a captivating exhibition at the Singer Laren Museum. This fascinating journey explored how the Mediterranean coast attracted and ignited artistic impulses among Low Countries artists from the 19th century onward.

The exhibition showcased a diverse mix of well-known and lesser-known artists, each bringing their unique style and vision to the canvas. A shared inspiration united them despite their varied approaches: they brought the Mediterranean’s awe-inspiring beauty to life.
Beyond their shared artistic inspiration, these 20th-century artists faced a tumultuous world. Europe wrestled with (the aftermath of) World War I, the collapse of the German Mark, and the rise of Nazism. Was painting tranquil images how these artists dealt with or could escape the harsh realities of their time?

La Grande Bleue: From Idyllic Shores to Refugee Boats

It made the last painting of this exhibition, by Spanish artist Miquel Barcélo, even more impressive. The painting doesn’t show the calm Mediterranean Sea but paints the current refugee drama, with trapped refugees fleeing conflict on a small boat in the middle of an unfriendly, wild Mediterranean Sea.

It’s raw!. And that’s how I prefer to see art: with a provoking message that lingers long after your visit and compels you to think and feel about the message the artist wanted to convey!


Friday, January 5, 2024


Singer Laren


Oude Drift 1,
1251 BS Laren


La Grande Bleue: Painters of the Mediterranean
(12 september 2023 t/m 7 januari 2024)