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.