The Dutch haven’t always been so mad about bikes. That close bond with cycling crept in quietly.
Pelumi Adejumo gives a voice to a collar from 1689 bearing the coat of arms of William of Orange.
Dieter De Schutter drew a graphic story inspired by the masked figure on a ferry in a 370-year-old river landscape. ‘I can never step out of line.’
Esha Guy Hadjadj gives a voice to a military painting by Cornelis Troost from 1742.
Veneboer wrote a dialogue in response to a portrait of Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution.
Bart Decroos wrote a short story inspired by a 1708 drawing by Dirk Valkenburg, entitled ‘View of a Mill and Cook-house on a Plantation in Surinam’.
Babeth Fonchie wrote a poem inspired by old wooden stocks and matching iron shackles.
Anne Bosveld wrote a prose poem inspired by a panorama of Cape Town.
Elsbet De Pauw wrote a poem in response to an old painting of a doll house.
Our best literature stories of 2020, handpicked by the editor.
Iduna Paalman wrote a poem about the rise and fall of Maria de’ Medici to accompany a militia piece by Joachim von Sandrart.
Obe Alkema gives the floor to a festoon of fruits and flowers: ‘We’re fruit, flora, authentic. We want to be seen the way Yotam Ottolenghi sees us.’
Edna Azulay has composed an ode to the intoxication of 'The Drunken Couple' by Jan Steen.
Malika Soudani gives a voice to 'Portrait of a woman' by Frans Hals. ‘I wonder if they called it that because it’s a good title or because they’ve forgotten my name.’
Jasmijn Post brings the painting 'The Love Letter' by Johannes Vermeer to life. We listen to a woman whose feelings are restricted by social conventions.
Arno Boey gives a voice to the painting 'The Milkmaid' by Johannes Vermeer.
Amarylis De Gryse got inspired by the painting 'The Company of Captain Albert Bas and Lieutenant Lucas Conijn'. She explores the inner life of a militiaman.
A still life with cheese, that’s all Sanne Pieters needs to dissect gender roles. ‘I watch you a lot: you and that favourite cow of yours.'
Cesar Majorana gives a voice to a painting in the shadow of 'The Night Watch'.
Shimanto Reza wrote a letter inspired by a map of the Bay of Bengal from around 1695.
In her essay ‘Connection in Confusion’, Hind Fraihi gives Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent some suggestions on how it should deal with a world that is becoming increasingly diverse and colourful.