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The Tijssenproject

It started in 1995 with painting the pup of the family Tijssen, the Briard Valuas Luna Pluto, shortly called Pluto.

Pluto / Briard


In the next year I got the commission to portrait mr. Tijs Tijssen himself, for the managers’room of the new building that his company was going to move into, him being the director of this company, porn-publishers The Vaar. He had the idea of having himself portrayed sitting at his new desk, with in the background a famous painting, for instance a Renoir, as if he owned one.

At a certain moment I had the idea, to use the world-famous painting The Last Supper of Leonardo Da Vinci. Because of Tijs’ occupation, I thought it would be nice to change the apostles into naked woman, but Tijs wanted to, as he said: “keep it more hetero”. Tijs who is a fanatic chef, has a blackboard over his dining-table, on which he writes the menu’s he will serve his guests in chalk. The menu’s change, but the 3 house-rules don’t! The last one of them is:

Le chef n’accepte pas des réclamations

This I found an appropriate title for the painting.

Le chef n'accepte pas des réclamations

In 1997 Tijs wanted me to paint his wife Anja. Her favourite colour is orange. In the upper left part of the painting, I let a part of my portrait of her dog Pluto show.



Over the years I associated with the Tijssens, we had become friends, Tijs mentioned so now and then, that he wanted me to make a portrait of him and Anja and the dog together one day. Probably because of Tijs’ Burgundian life-style, I always pictured him as Rembrandt in the painting where his wife Saskia is sitting on his lap, lifting a huge glass of wine directed towards the spectator. As far as I am concerned, the allegory of the good life.

When in 2001 Tijs decided the time had come, I submitted him to the idea I had had long before and he gave his approval.

Only after I had finished this painting, I found out that the title of the painting of Rembrandt was called: Rembrandt and Saskia in the scene of the prodigal son in the brothel. Completely unexpected, but again beautiful as a title. In the background I copied the portraits I had done of the whole family before, with in the front the dog Pluto that was full grown by now.


Tijs + Anja in Rembrandts Scene of the Prodigal Son in the Brothel

At the time I started on Pluto, I could never have thought, that everything that I was going to paint for the Tijssens eventually, would finally be connected in this last picture. In retrospective you can look upon it is a true project.