After being dazzled by Mentzel in Hilversum in December 2021, the Rijksmuseum gives a large retrospective of his oeuvre in Amsterdam. One can wonder about the programming of these exhibits so close to one another. I also wonder if the curators talk on a regular basis to avoid redundancy. In any case, it was another occasion to view (for some revisit) his photographs of the Dutch political elite and public figures in their day-to-day activities. Handsome black and white, an innate sense of composition and an eye capturing the right moment. I selected only of few of the great portraits he made to show here. Vincent Mentzel had a career as a photojournalist, covering topics close to home: politics, the royal family. His work was largely available to the public in the newspapers. The Rijksmuseum, after the Hilversum museum, had a great idea to show his work where it deserves to belong and to be shown: on the walls of a photography museum. It is now done, and well done.

People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy leader and vice-prime minister Hans Wiegel with a group of photographers in the House of Representatives in The Hague, 12 October 1981 ©Vincent Mentzel
Portrait of Princess Beatrix, 14 November 1980 ©Vincent Mentzel
Portait of Queen Juliana, Portait of Princess Juliana, 17 September 1991 ©Vincent Mentzel
Portrait of Audrey Hepburn, 1984 ©Vincent Mentzel