Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue

oil on canvas (cotton)
60 × 80 cm
May 2021

Rhapsody etymologically:
from the Greek rapsōidia, meaning an epic poem recited by a rhapsode (troubadour).
From raptein “to intertwine, to sew together” + ōidè “singing, poem” (cf. ode).

In addition to the colour, blue can refer to a gloomy, desolate state of mind.

This painting employs variations in blue to show a contrast: a sunny, carefree populated beach boulevard on the one hand, and the unredeemed desire to travel on the other hand, felt from the cockpit of a luxury coach.


  • From Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Barry Wordsworth, piano Christopher O’Riley

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When Beitske was working in our house, her husband Klaas was usually behind the wheel of his coach, on the road to, say, Italy (or in this case Nafplion in Greece) – often with secondary school pupils and their teachers. Driving and interacting with his passengers, both of which he was very good at, meant all the world to him.

The painting is intended as a reminiscence of beautiful images from that time, but with a melancholic undertone.

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