The Art Collection

of the Ambassade hotel

Brasserie Ambassade as seen from the Private Dining, with paintings by cobra artists adorning the walls and a view on Herengracht



CoBrA (acronym for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam) is the most important European avant-garde movement after World War II. About fifty experimental artists from all across the continent connected in 1948-1951 through a direct and spontaneous way of expressing. They recognized themselves in experimental art and the distinctive theories of the Danish, Belgian and Dutch founders: Art for everyone, by everyone. They wanted to take away from academicism and were inspired by children’s drawings, folk art and medieval frescoes. In short by all sorts of art outside the classical box. Together they formed an extensive movement, with many followers, manifestations, expressions and collaborations in all fields of the arts. Cobra has been and is extremely significant for both the Dutch and international art scene.

COBRA Archive


approx. 1890-1915

The Amsterdam Impressionism was a late 19th, early 20th century art movement with similar notions as the well-known French Impressionism. Foremen Isaac Israëls and George Hendrik Breitner sought to capture “fast” moments from the Amsterdam city life, hence the name “Amsterdam Impressionists”. The corresponding quick pace of the emerging industrialization was a constant source of inspiration, underlined by the invention of photography. To grasp the idea of a snapshot, or the speed of a photograph, both artists radically cut their works of art. Breitner was even accused of not finishing his works, working in a style too impressionistic and sketch-like.