Koorddanser, painted by Jan Rijnders in 1999
This week I was working on a few posts to revive this blog, when the sad news of the passing of Jan Rijnders reached me. Since I heard the news I haven’t been able to finish the posts I was writing for this blog; they seem so superficial right now.
Jan Rijnders was a great man. One of Delft’s most important contemporary artists, an amazing teacher, an enlightened and modest man. He has been my teacher – many years ago – before I went to Art School. In fact, he was the one who encouraged me and helped me find the confidence and the guts to go through with it.
Later on – end of the ’90’s – I met his wife through an artist’s initiative where we were both participating. We saw each other regularly at the artist’s meetings and occasionally we would meet for a cup of coffee and an inspiring talk. It was a great honor when I was asked to exhibit my paintings together with their artwork.
We kept in touch all these years and I knew about his weakened health; still, the news hit me really hard. I suppose that when you look up to someone, when you have learned so much from someone, you can get some naive idea that this person can live forever…
I have learned very much from this great teacher. It is an honor to have known him.