This video from the Netherlands says about itself:
Monet in Zaandam, 7 paintings showing then and now
24 May 2013
See how Claude Monet painted Zaandam in 1871 and how it looks nowadays.
In 1871, Claude Oscar Monet spent four months in Zaandam with his wife and child and made in that period up to 25 paintings. “Zaandam is quite remarkable and there is enough to paint for a lifetime,” Monet wrote to his friend and colleague Camille Pissarro. “Houses in all colors, hundreds of mills and delightful boats.”
The Zaandam period turned out to be important in his development as a painter. This little book shows all the paintings including background information and is a walking and cycling [guide] along the places where Monet painted. It appears in four languages and presents a portrait of Zaandam in 1871.
In this video you see several paintings that Monet created during his stay in Zaandam, merged with the current situation, which is sometimes painful to see.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:
“When we received enough money I just screamed.” Curator Hester Wandel of the Zaans Museum is thrilled with the purchase of the painting The Voorzaan and Westerhem.
It is one of the 25 paintings that Monet made in 1871, in the period when he lived and worked in Zaandam. According to the French impressionist there was plenty to see and to paint for an entire life in Zaandam. It turned out to be four months.
The Rembrandt Association and several local companies provided the money, a million euros together, to buy the painting. It is now being restored and will be on show in the autumn for the first time.
According to curator Wandel, Monet along the banks of the Zaan river formed part of the basis for his later work. The painting is one of the first works of which there are multiple studies.
Monet painted not just when the light was perfect, but also during real Dutch weather with rain and wind. The Voorzaan and Westerhem is therefore less colourful and distinctive than the later work of the French impressionist.
That does not cause any less enthusiasm from the museum, says the curator. “It fits very well in our collection. The leftmost mill on the canvas is sawmill De Bakker. We also have other paintings depicting it.”
The Monet, according to Wandel, from now on will be the showpiece of the museum. The permanent exhibition will be adjusted so that the Monet will fit in perfectly.
The Zaans Museum was told about the painting by the Monet in Zaandam foundation. They knew that the work was offered for sale at an antique dealer’s in the United States. The foundation passed on that information to the museum.
“Zaandam is mentioned in one breath with Verkade, windmills and Czar Peter the Great who was here a few days. That has to change. Monet is very important for Zaandam. We believe that Zaandam is the Monet city of the Netherlands,” says foundation president Jacob Reitsma.