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Art and Breakfast aboard the AmaDolce

Breakfast offerings on the AmaDolce

After a sumptuous breakfast on the ship, our group was met with a great surprise in Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: a wonderful self-portrait by Carel Fabritius—the Dutch artist best known for The Goldfinch, an artwork that also serves as the subject of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name by Donna Tartt. Fabritius was a student of Rembrandt, and died tragically when a munitions factory in Delft, a city we had just visited, exploded in 1654. Many of his paintings were destroyed, but, fortunately, this self-portrait survived and was shown in a 2001 exhibition at the Met. This is exactly how I pictured the character of Boris in Donna Tartt's novel.

Carel Fabritius (Midden-Beemster 1622–1654 Delft). Self-Portrait, c. 1645. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Carel Fabritius (Midden-Beemster 1622–1654 Delft). Self-Portrait, ca. 1645. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Legaat/Bequest: F.J.O. Boijmans 1847. Photograph by Gwen Roginsky

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