Hommage à Conrad
The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
The title of this painting tells us that this is a hommage to the Polish-English writer Joseph Conrad. His photograph is included in this still life, which also includes references to maritime shipping, such as an image of a large sailing ship, a map with signal flags and a large nautical telescope. Before Conrad started writing novels, he was a sailor. In 1890, he captained a Belgian ship that sailed deep into the Congo. Later, he sailed as captain on board British merchant ships. Conrad incorporated his experiences at sea in his novels, and the tribulations that sailors undergo and the self-control required to endure them feature prominently in them.
Dirk Nijland was a great admirer of Conrad. He was also fascinated by the ocean, ports and ships, and produced a lot of work depicting water. Behind the box office in the entrance hall of the Van Abbemuseum, you can see a seascape mural by Nijland.
In his still lifes, Nijland works very disciplined way, paying close attention to the rendering of materials, and his compositions are carefully structured. Here the objects are strictly arranged, lying parallel to the edges of the table. Nijland’s use of colour is sober.
Does this page contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.