Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Peter Bruegel the Elder (circa 1525 - 1569), was a Flemish painter that lived in the tough years before the Dutch revolution. His is mostly known for his realistic depiction of every day people, the peasants of this period: chubby, funny figures, imperfect but humane. Unlike those ancient Greek statues with the trained bodies and divine faces. Real people, not ideal. For those figures came the characterisation "bruegel-esque", in honour of the artist that portrayed them so well.

Among his many works, Bruegel has provide us with a nice collection of sketches. These include snapshots from the everyday toil, parables and also the surreal drawings of the seven virtues and the seven deadly sins. Here follow a few of these sketches, some of which might be reminiscent of another contemporary master, Hieronymus Bosch.


The Rabbit Hunt

The Ass In The School

Every Man

Overthrow of the Magician


Seascape With A View of Antwerp



Music composed by Dead Can Dance, performed by Arcana

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Strange Machines

A nice mind-travelling song from the Dutch metal/rock band
The Gathering
. Comes from their milestone album Mandylion

Monday, 9 May 2011

The New Psychedelica

If you are tired of C.'s endless stream of romantic and classicist paintings, there is hope! A new exhibition has opened in the Mu space in the center of Eidhoven, in the Witte Dame building. Named "The New Psychedelica", it presents works from 17 artists, mostly in the form of video art. The main topic of the exhibition is the production and consumption of images in modern sociey, especially in relation to new technologies as the Internet. The presenting artists approach this theme with an "updated" take on the psychedelic art that became popular in the 60's. If you are downtown, this exhibition might be worth your time for a visit (a tour of the exhibition shouldn't take more than half an hour). Open until June 5.

Friday, 6 May 2011


If one was asked today to provide a brief description of the Netherlands, he would talk about a modern society that supports novel approaches in arts, sciences and ethics. Yet, the Netherlands is also a heir to a lucid history of exploration. Back in the 17th century, the Dutch ships were crossing the oceans discovering new lands and weiving a huge mercantile network. Many were the Dutch colonies all over the world at that point, yet most of them were afterwards taken over by the thriving British empire.

However, up to this day, quite enough of the old Dutch toponyms survive to remind us of this period: New Zealand (Zeeland), Johannesburg, Harlem (Haarlem), Brooklyn (Breukelen) and many others. Maybe you already know that New York used to be the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.

View of New Amsterdam, engraving. circa 1670

Thus, it is not surprising that the science of cartography bears a long history in the Netherlands. Among the Dutch cartographers of the past we could mention Jan Jansson, Claes Visscher and Frederick De Witt  who provided some nice pieces of cartographic art and calligraphy:

Frederick de Witt, Map of the North Atlantic. 17th century

Frederick de Witt, World Map (Nova Orbis Tabula in Lucem Edita). 1662

The naval endeavours of the Dutch Golden Era and of the years that followed could not but inspire local artists to portray scenes from sea life in their works.

Willem van de Velde, Dutch vessels close inshore at low tide and men bathing. 1661

Dutch mariners during a whaling expedition. 18th century engraving.

Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Kalme Zee. 1875

Music by Tangerine Dream.
Compass rose image was taken from this nice histologion.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Story of A Forgotten Master

Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) is maybe the most underrated artist of the Dutch golden era of painting. A student of Rembrandt, he was a pioneer in the way he used shading and perspective. He died at the age of 32 when a major blast at a gunpowder storage house in Delft, his hometown, destroyed a large part of the city. The blast destroyed also his atelier where he stored his works. As a result, only few of his paintings survive today. From those we can conclude that he was a big influence for Vermeer, if not his teacher. The connection between the two artists is also mentioned in the following dedication that was spoken at Carel's funeral:

"The phoenix has departed from this world
In the midst of life and fame
A new master has arisen from the ashes
Vermeer will follow in his steps."

Here follow a few of his surviving works:

The Goldfinch


Saskia van Uylenburgh (Rembrandt's Wife)

A View of Delft

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Have a Nice Easter

The picture comes from the movie Ostrov (The Island). Russian Production, 2006.

A gem of European cinema. You can get a glimpse here

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Music events

After some time that we were not updating much because of the minor complication of trying to do a PhD, your favourite blog is back with new suggestions for events happening soon in Eindhoven. First, in the last week of May, Muziekgebouw Frits Philips is organising three concerts in the cathedral, aptly named 3 Nights in Heaven. Alternative "slowcore" legends Low, Oscar-winning Japanese artist Ryuichi Sakamoto with the German minimal artist Alva Noto and the Belgian alternative rock- meets jazz- meets Balkan beats band Absynthe minded will perform. More information can be found here.

Those of you who prefer punk and metal over concerts in churches will not be disappointed either. On Thursday, "pop" punk band the Thermals are playing in Effenaar. And on May 8, alternative metal band Gum take tooth are playing in TAC for free. Enjoy!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

In Bloom...

Smiling sun.
Trees timidly unfolding their leaves.
Couples lying on the grass.
Smell of fire and roasted meat.

Painting by Henry Meynell Rheam

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Party City Eindhoven

Electro-friendly boys and girls, here's one more opportunity to set the dance floor on fire. Two more dance parties are up for this week:

1) Party : 220 Volt
Where : Gaslab, TU/e campus
When : 21:00 - 2:00, Thursday 24th of March

2) Party : Global aura vs u-niks festival
Where : Temporary Art Centre
When : 14:00 - 2:00, Saturday 26th of March


Thanks once again to Amateur Artist for his notification!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

First days of spring

Spring has finally arrived in Netherlands: a triumphant sun defies the clouds for the last few days, temperatures have risen to 15 degrees and the ice cream car has returned to the campus. Everywhere, people are out enjoying the first warm and sunny days of the year. Everywhere? Well, except for those working in the lab, of course!

Sunday, 13 March 2011


Keeping up with the artistic spirit of the last few days, this post is about the Temporary Art Center of Eindhoven, located (temporarily?) opposite the Philips stadion. In addition to contemporary art exhibitions, TAC has a quite interesting music program. A lot of acts, ranging from electronic music to metal and experimental folk, perform regurarly at the center. The concerts usually have a very small entrance fee, or some times are even totally free. The truth is that you will have never heard of the musicians performing before, but chances are that you'll enjoy a concert there more than another night spent in Stratumseind. So, give it a try and the let an unknown experimental band surprise you!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Home Brewed Art

Hello dear artistic souls of Eindhoven!

TU/e is from times to times organizing art exhibitions on the base floor of the Main Building (Hoofdgebouw). This time the occasion is more special: Students and employees of the University were asked to contribute their own art. The main concept is to also boost art that is created in experimental ways. The exposition will take place from the 15th of March until the 3rd of May. As we said the place is TU/e's Main Building, base floor. Where is this? Come on people, don't tell me that you don't know!

See you there!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Music in the Church

Here's one of the nice little hidden things that you should know about Eindhoven. Every Saturday, from 15:00 to 16:00 hours, there is free concert taking place in the main Cathedral; the Catharinakerk. The music presented in each concert varies from organ music, to a capella, to chamber music up to even contemporary stuff. For more information about the place and the schedule of the concerts you can have a look here. This can be a nice break if you are shopping around the center on Saturday. And remember: Entrance is for free!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Jan Toorop

Dear visitor, the following article may become more appealing shall you press beforehand the play button:

In just a few decades, from the late 19th to the early 20th century, the evolution of western art was unprecedented. As it comes also to painting, many artistic styles blossomed and disintegrated in this very short period, only to be followed by the stagnation of abstract art. These few artistic styles represented the rise of western empires and their consecutive decadence as a result of their extraordinary wealth. Among these short-lived artistic sparks there appears Symbolism.

As an answer to the prevailing fashion of Naturalism, which cherished the depiction of routine activities in the lives of common people, Symbolism proceeded to portray spiritual and majestic themes. In a Symbolistic painting, there is a subtle concept to be implied by the picture. The focus is not on the material object that is depicted but the high ideals that the object/figure symbolises. In other words, many things,faces and events express an implicit beauty that is not of this world and should not be drawn as such.

One of the most famous works of Symbolism: Jean Delville's Parsifal

Symbolism appeared mostly in the second half of 19th century and it was embraced by the artistic communities of the Netherlands and Belgium. Looking from a local perspective, an important and slightly underrated Dutch artist of this movement was Jan Toorop. Having Indonesian origins as well, Toorop left his own fingerprint in Symbolism before the style went "out of fashion". He started as an impressionist, then moved on to Symbolistic art. In his final years he presented more religious aspects since he was eventually converted to Catholicism. As a small commemoration of his work, hereby lay some of his illustrations.

Dame en Blanche 1886 (Impressionistic)

Dolce (Meisje met zwanen) 1896

Venise Sauvee 1895

O grave, where is thy Victory 1892

Psyche 1898

Godsvertrouwen 1907

The images of Jan Toorop's works were taken from The Jan Toorop Research Center website. There you may find the most extended digital collection of his known works.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Provincial elections, Nederlandse stijl

This Wednesday, the elections for the first chamber of the Dutch parliament will take place. The outcome of this election will be important for the future of the governing coalition, but voters do not seem to care much. In order to attract some attention to the elections, some unorthodox tactics are employed.

In Eindhoven's very own province, Noord-Brabant, the local government has launched a campaign to convince people to vote and make their intention to do so public. The trick that make this different from every similar campaign all over the world? Those who participate stand to win an iPad.

In Netherlands' southernmost province, Limburg, a candidate has released a video ad titled De naakte waarheid (the naked truth), where his political party's logo is shown as a tatoo in a woman's butt. The best part? He is a candidate of the conservative Christian Democrat party (CDA)!

Update: One of those who don't seem to care much about the elections is Maxime Verhagen, deputy prime minister and leader of the Christian Democrat party, which is part of the coalition government. Apparently, instead of campaining, Mr. Verhagen is on a skiing vacation. At least, he is going to be back in time to cast his vote, according to his spokesman.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

“All the very best of …them”

What is the power of music? What is the power of a band? I actually realized it on Friday night when I watched live the American indie rock band The National in Cross-Linx festival in Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven; to keep your attention when you don’t know any of their songs; to whisper them while biking back home; to play their songs in repeat mode the day after the concert. The band came on stage, with the drummer reminding me of John Lennon with his round glasses and headband and the frontman looking quite uncomfortable while not singing… The concert begun with Matt Berninger singing

...there's no savin' anything
i'll swallow the shine of the sun
there's no savin' anything
i'll swallow the sun

and me seized by a flood of emotions. During the concert, the two brothers and band’s guitarists, Aaron and Bryce, were really talkative arguing with the vocalist about the difficulty of their songs giving the impression that they enjoyed so much being there, more than the audience! The best moments of the night were two; the wander of the vocalist among the crowed audience, climbing on the seats, sitting for a moment while singing “Mr. November” to finally end up at higher stages of the Airport Zaal. After that spectacular performance I was expecting that the concert would end. I was wrong- I should admit that I was actually a bit disappointed when they went on playing a couple of songs more. However, at the end I realized why… The vocalist called in front of the stage all the band members and invited the audience to sing unplugged. I was speechless and... recording! These are moments you just want to keep forever. Everyone was standing and singing:

Vanderlyle, crybaby, cry
Man it’s all been forgivin'
Swans are a swimmin'
I'll explain everything to the geeks...

Post by Xrysis

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Show Mercy

As you might already now, there are things happening during the next months that will make all local goths happy. Forgetting about the oxymoron of the previous sentence, let's have a look on these forthcoming events. But first, some music to fit the content:

1) Sisters of Mercy concert:

Where: Tilburg, venue is 013
When: February 23rd 2011
How much: 35 Euros
Where can I find tickets: Here

2) Joy Division tribute concert

More specifically, one of the founding members of the band, Peter Hook, will provide a "back to the roots" show for all dedicated fans of this seminal band. The concert will focus on the milestone album Unknown Pleasures.

Where: Eindhoven, venue is Effenaar
When: May 29th 2011
How much: 27.5 Euros
Where can I find tickets: Here

Fact: Joy Division, including Ian Curtis, gave a concert in the same venue 31 years ago that was on January 18th 1980. More info and footage from this concert you may find here. This was just 4 months before Ian Curtis took a bold step to the other world.

3) Ian Curtis Memorial (!?!)

Where: Eindhoven, venue is Effenaar
When: May 18th 2011 (Exactly 31 years from Ian Curtis death)
How much: 7.5 Euros (Only 5.00 Euros if you got a ticket to Peter Hook's concert)
Where can I find tickets: Here

The event is presumably some words from people that where close to Ian Curtis and that where part of the New Wave movement. There will also be the movie of Anton Corbijn on the life of Ian Curtis. More info here (in Dutch).


From our side, we would like to address a question to the readers of this blog (to both of them :P ): Are you aware of any venue in Eindhoven or the neighbouring cities that is dedicated to New wave/Electro/Goth/Industrial music? If yes, please let us know by droping a line at eindhoven.calling@gmail.com

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Netherlands-Austria in Eindhoven!

This Wednesday, the Dutch national football team will play a friendly game against Austria in Philips Stadion, here in Eindhoven, and the best part is that tickets are still available! So, if you want to experience the orange madness that are the home games of Holland, hurry and buy your tickets online or in one of the affiliated shops!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Alexander the Great: exhibition at Amsterdam

Attention: this is a "we're Greeks and proud of it" post. Proceed with caution.

The Hermitage museum in Amsterdam, a branch of the renowned Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, is hosting a very interesting exhibition about Alexander the Great. Alexander needs hardly any introduction: he became king of the Macedonians aged 20 and led a Greek army against the Persian empire. By the age of 33, he had crushed the Persians, was declared son of god Amun-Ra in Egypt and had extended his empire from Greece up to the river Indus. He died soon after in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, but his legend fascinated people for centuries after his death and his conquests changed the history of world.

The exhibition in the Hermitage is exploring the legacy of Alexander in art throughout the centuries, as well as the influence that hellenistic civilization exerted in the cultures of the regions that came under greek dominance. The exhibition also focuses on the reality of Alexander, his education by Aristotle and the mindset that led him to become such a brilliant strategist and conqueror. For those interested in history and ancient cultures, this event is a must-see.

Open until March 18

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

International Quiz Nights

To all bright people in Eindhoven:

If you think that your encyclopedic knowledge is unmatched and you want all people to know about it, here's your chance; Every Thursday evening, in the very heart of Eindhoven, there is an International Quiz Night taking place.

More specifically, at Carrousel cafe/restaurant (at the Market Square) starting from 20.00 o'clock every Thursday there is a quiz contest made for international people. There you can compete with your friends team (or come solo and be placed in a team there) against the teams of other local smartasses. Participation is 3 Euros, but you have also to pay for your beers right? More details here. We've tried it and we totally suggest it.

Good luck, you will need it if you happen to play against my team (devilish laugh)

Monday, 31 January 2011

Rejection for the Masses!

Dear Researcher, Dearest Student,

Do you feel that your research is mistreated? Have your ever submitted the results of your laborious work in a conference or journal, yet only to receive a bitter rejection notification? Do you think that you deserved as much as these foul researchers who got eventually their work published unlike you?

Cheer up!
Now the solution to all your psychological problems is here! And it comes in the form of a journal! The Journal of Rejection!!!: (glorious trumpet sounds)


There is no reason to feel that others enjoy more in this life than you! Universal rejection is here to stay and makes no segregations! Whether an experienced professor or a lazy PhD student, the bitter aftertaste of rejection is here to enjoy...


We first saw this here

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Bad project...

Dedicated to everybody that is doing research. I refrain from further comments. I'm just not worthy enough to have an opinion on this...

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Time for Protest

You might have heard this already:

This Friday in The Hague there is going to be a large protest against the new law that the coalition government is going to enforce on higher education. In a nutshell, the law is about making students that are late in finishing their university studies to pay tuition for every extra year in the university. Also the university will have to pay a large part of these costs as opposed to what was happening so far where the state was covering all these costs.

It seems really debatable whether this measure is completely towards the wrong direction or the other way round. As can I conclude from my small experience in the university, there is a general feeling among the faculty people that many students should have more motivation in their studies rather than leaning back on the fact that there is plenty of time for them to graduate. Professors sometimes get really pissed off when they see the same unmotivated students failing the same course again and again and taking time out of their research to correct assignments and exams from such people.

On the other hand, it seems that the Netherlands has a special student culture; part of it is due to the university sports clubs and organisations that promote socialisation among students. It is difficult to imagine that such organisations will keep up in the same pace if all their members are stressed with the burden of finishing on time. Also, there is an argument that, under the new law, universities will prefer to help unconditionally the incompetent students to pass their courses on time so as to avoid paying the costs of extra year education. This would definitely drop the level of quality in the Dutch universities. Others say that the new law will just create a system similar to the Belgian one, where students are filtered out en masse in the first year of their studies; if they can't make it they will be forced to drop out in the very first years of their studies.

To get back to Friday's protest, TU/e is totally helping its students to participate; for the exams that were planned to take place on Friday there is the opportunity for the student to join the protest and take the exam in another date. Students are also informed where they can go to make their own banners for the protest! Our lovely TU is definitely supporting the protest.

So, nothing more to be said. If you intend to go, put on your rebellious/streetwise spirit and march for student glory! Here's some music to warm you up:

Cross-linx Festival

On the 18th of February, the travelling Cross-linx music festival will be hosted in Eindhoven (in Effenaar and the Frits Philips Muziekgebouw), after playing in Utrecht and before heading to Groningen and Rotterdam. In it its eleventh edition, this year's festival will have the American indie rock band The National as headliners. The National made it into quite a few 'best albums of the year' lists with their latest album, High Violet, so their live in Eindhoven should be one of the events of the year for the indie crowd here. The rest of the line-up includes Danish post-rock/electronic band Efterklang, Canadian singer-songwriter Owen Pallett, American singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and experimental indie/folk group Buke and Gass.
See you there!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Art Salon in Eindhoven

Dear modern art freaks, there are some nice news for you:
There is going to be an Art Salon in our beautiful city during the last days of January.

Where: Beursgebouw ( the big grey building behind the station and Piazza )
When: From 27-01-2011 to 30-01-2011
Price: 10 of your precious Euros

Well, I may not say more. You can find more details here. We'll probably come back to this after the end of the salon, among with some good old-fashioned "I-feel-like-judging-everything"-criticism.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Cycle of Rebirth

Oh, although the winter may be cold
the days short and the nights long
a bold summer is approaching
who from this misery will soon free us;
that much is clear from the new year!

 Hadewijch* circa 1250

These few words from the medieval mystic Hadewijch sketch a picture
present in every old culture and mythology: the cycle of life where death and birth
follow one another. Depicted in every year's succession of  seasons, from winter to spring, from summer to autumn.

Just as in the old Greek myth of Persephone, the daughter of earth mother Demetra; Every winter Persephone spends her days in the underworld and nature appears in marasmus. Every spring she ascends to the outer realms and earth mother is in bloom.

So justly expressed in the following instrumental track from the French band
Year of No Light:

* = Hadewijch was a female poet who lived in Brabant during 13th century AD. Her legacy is a collection of poems and writings crimsoned with love mysticism. An obscure figure, and for that even more appreciated. The translation of the small verse in the beginning of this post was kindly provided by Kor Bosch.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

A typical Dutch summer day

One of these days, I ran across this vintage Dutch tourist poster. It is unmistakably Dutch: windmills, cows, herrings...and a bright sun over a sea or a lake warm enough to swim in! Well, although some really hot days do occur in the summer, Netherlands is hardly a summer vacation destination. Anyone who has spent more than a year here knows that days like the one depicted in the poster are not the norm. In fact, summer months are usually more rainy than the winter ones and most of the Dutch travel to the Mediterranean countries for their summer holidays. All this gives the (admittedly well-designed) poster an almost surreal feel. So, now a copy of this poster is hanging in my room to remind me, when I get depressed by the winter weather, that I can look foward to a magnificent Dutch summer.