Frame (walnut) made in 1880
Dimensions ± 243 x 380 cm
This work depicts the shipyard at the Chamber of the Dutch East India Company on the Oostenburg peninsula near Amsterdam. I based the work on a painting by Ludolf Bakhuyzen (1631-1708).
I read a lot about the time and the people that I portray and I purchase quite a few books. These are antique books from the period because in their use of language you can feel the strength and the timbre of the time.
The painting is about seafaring, about the pioneers of the time, about the unstoppable power of man, about what motivates him, about the different cultures and cultural mixing, about the 17th century and how it overlaps with the present day, about the symbolism of what you can achieve as a human being.
It was a time that revealed man’s potential because this was at its peak in all sorts of areas. At the same time, there are parallels with today’s world.
I have portrayed twelve Revolutionary Characters whose positive impact appeals to me. It was they who made possible this extraordinary era – the Dutch Golden Age – and also partly created it.
I have chosen these people for their individual revolutions, the changes that they brought about whose influence extends across the centuries.
The work is painted on a panel that is completely covered with paper dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
A large amount of this paper comes from a book published in 1701 about the life of Michiel de Ruyter (1607-1676).
Over that I have used black & white patterned transparent so that the text below remains legible and living.
In my approach to this work, I have combined together realism, futurism and cubism so that it seems as if cubism and futurism already existed in the Golden Age.
I wanted this innocent conflict in this work – as if time is irrelevant and there is no difference between the present and the past.