Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Siebrand Noble Wines

A few days ago I came across this vintage poster for the Siebrand Wine Trading Company from our home town, Kampen. I would have guessed late 30s or early 40s, but it is actually a retro design from the sixties.

Copyright statement: low resolution image of advertisements and posters deemed fair use.

Monday, June 21, 2021


Kwikzilver (mercury) is the title of a Dutch 1926 girls' novel by Cissy van Marxveldt. The cover includes a beautiful illustration of a flapper girl.

Copyright statement: low resolution images of book covers considered fair use.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Tragic mood

Here we have a master that I had never heard of until about ten years ago - and that has become a personal favourite over the years. Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938) was a Russian painter, who worked in Germany and Switzerland. Her style was expressionist with a healthy dash of realism. The depicted painting is from 1910. 

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Summertime sadness 80s remix

A theme that I encountered at YouTube a while ago: remixers who take fairly recent hits and remix them into an 80s sound, with astonishing results. Here we have Lana del Rey the way she would have sounded three decades earlier. Artrockometer score: 4/6.

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.

Friday, June 18, 2021


Colette is a 2018 dramatic biography, directed by Westmoreland, about author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. For the poster, one could argue that the designer has an easy job, being able to work with shots of a beautiful actress like Keira Knightley, dressed up in vintage costumes. Still, the result is excellent.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The three graces

A somewhat older work of my wife, and the biggest painting I have seen her make. It is actually painted on a 3-panel canvas room screen (three times 40x180 cm). I love this graceful image, and so do many visitors of our gallery - where it is on permanent display.

Copyright statement: image copyright Lu Schaper, used with permission.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Vogue March 1932

One could argue that the best vintage Vogue covers were in the twenties, but this one from 1932 is right up there with my other favorites. No wonder, as it was designed by the famous Georges Lepape.

Copyright statement: low resolution image of magazine covers deemed fair use. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

300 Days at sea

The eighth studio album by Bermudan singer/song writer Heather Nova from 2011 is based on a good, if somewhat baffling photograph of her with a dog in a small boat. What makes the cover memorable though is the excellent choice of calligraphy for the title, suggesting water reflections. The photography is by Sacha Blackburne, the calligraphy and cover design by Dirk Rudolph.
Copyright statement: low resolution images of album covers deemed fair use.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Cycles Terrot

This must be one of the most bizarre vintage bicycle advertisement posters I've ever seen. Francisco Tamango designed this nightmare scenario of a girl on a bicycle, for some reason riding on a railroad track through a tunnel with the train rapidly approaching...

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The spider and the octopus

Sometimes one can come up with a title from left field that is astonishingly appropriate. I took this photograph about four years ago. It shows part of the ceiling of a church in the German town of Lingen. The resulting image is a rather abstract play with curves, enhanced by the conversion to black and white. In the near future, a square version will be on display in our gallery shop window.

Camera: Nikon D7000 (Nikkor 18-300 mm), 16 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.033 sec (1/30)
Aperture: f/5.0
Focal Length: 41.2 mm
ISO Speed: 1800
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Saturday, June 12, 2021


Postmodern Jukebox is a music project that has been going on for many years on YouTube. They take well known pop and rock songs and record them in arrangements of days gone by, often like here with a clear jazz feeling. The vocals are taken care of by a variety of guest singers - in this case, their most recent upload, Casey Abrams, who renders a far superior version of Lionel Richie's monster hit Hello. Artrockometer score: 4/6.

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Dames ahoy

As so often, Swedish posters for Hollywood movies of the jazz age are fantastic. Here we have a great example, for the Craft movie Dames ahoy from 1930.

Copyright statement: low resolution image of advertisements and posters deemed fair use.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Woman with a hat

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) may be generally regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, but he is not a particular favourite of mine. Here is one I really like, a portrait of his wife from 1905.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Summer at Miho Peninsula

While the summer weather is continuing in the Netherlands, a topical beautiful and rare Japanese Art Deco poster from the 1930s, advertising the railway connection to the Miho Peninsula.
Copyright statement: low resolution image of advertisements and posters deemed fair use.

Vintage Posters

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Summer time blues

This is a painting that my wife created about seven years ago - social distancing avant la lettre. The inspiration came partially from a visit to a Bordeaux bookstore, partially from the works of Edward Hopper. At the moment it features in our gallery's window.

Copyright statement: image copyright Lu Schaper, used with permission.

The Art of Lu Schaper

Monday, June 07, 2021


Garfunkel and Oates are an American comedy–folk duo consisting of actresses and songwriters Riki Lindhome ("Garfunkel") and Kate Micucci ("Oates"). You may know them from their own TV series, or from their guest roles in the hit sitcoms Scrubs (Kate) and The Big Bang Theory (both). I'm not a big fan of their music, but I love the cover of this 2015 album.

Copyright statement: low resolution images of album covers deemed fair use.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Asia August 1931

Asia was a popular American magazine in the 1920s and 1930s. It featured reporting about Asia and its people. Here we have a late Art Deco gem from the early thirties. The illustration is by Frank Mackintosh.

Copyright statement: low resolution image of magazine covers deemed fair use.


Saturday, June 05, 2021

Thoughts on Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde

Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde is my favourite piece of music,. In a 2020 thread on the Talk Classical forum, member Allegro con Brio (Davis C. Smith) wrote down his thoughts about this piece, and I was blown away how well he captured his feelings, which align strongly with my own. A beautiful piece of writing, which I reproduce here with permission.


My heart is tired. My little lamp expired with a crackle, minding me to sleep. I come to you, trusted resting place. Yes, give me rest, I have need of refreshment! I weep often in my loneliness. Autumn in my heart lingers too long. Sun of love, will you no longer shine gently to dry up my bitter tears?

Even if Mahler was not a deeply superstitious man, he could hardly be blamed for thinking that the hammer blows of fate featured in his 6th Symphony had not been completely fulfilled by this time in his life. As previously mentioned, the wife with which he poured all his earthly devotion into was unfaithful. His heart had the potential to give up any day. His first child had died of scarlet fever. He had been fired from his 10-year job at the Vienna State Opera, no small part due to antisemitism. He wrote to Bruno Walter that "with one stroke, I have lost everything I have gained in terms of who I thought I was, and have to learn my first steps again like a newborn." At this point, with everything toppling into dust, Mahler was left with few options other than to keep doing what he was best at- thrusting himself into his craft. These cataclysmic events had only started to take root during the years of composing the 8th, and I firmly believe that he simply could not write another work like it during this tribulation. It was in his calmest states that he was in his most earth-shattering moods. Instead, this most personal of composers was inspired to pour out the most personal of compositions. He buried himself in a book of ancient Chinese poems translated into German, and find innumerable fodder for development in this piercing poetry of existential despair and pantheistic mysticism. Inspired again to turn to his "home" genre of the song cycle, he aimed to produce his penultimate essay in the form. The result, The Song of the Earth (originally his 9th Symphony, but retracted due to superstition), can safely be called the 2nd real piece of 20th century music after his own 6th. The real question is- how has such an insanely, almost wrongfully personal work become such a cherished piece among music devotees?

Maybe it's because it simply taps into a universal thread of humanity that binds us all together- the desire to cope with the looming, inconvenient reality of death by groping desperately for answers. We need to understand that this is raw, ravishing poetry. No one who listens to The Song of the Earth should go without following along with the original texts. The music of the first movement may cast an aura of convincingly ardent passion, but unless we know the ideas Mahler is actually communicating, we do not really understand the point: The heavens are ever blue and the Earth shall stand sure, and blossom in the spring. But you O man, what long life have you? Not a hundred years may you delight in all the rotten baubles of this earth. Here we encounter a truly universal dilemma, one that appears in everything from the Bible's book of Ecclesiastes to the musings of Sartre and Heidegger. But Mahler's treatment of it is unique. He always viewed himself as an outcast, a wanderer, a derelict on the face of the earth. Even as a Jew, he always decried his outcast status in nearly every professional circle. This is why he searched so sweepingly and so epically for answers. Das Lied is the culmination of a metaphysical adventure that started with the Songs of a Wayfarer. Mahler finds stability and constancy in nature and in the fact that men in all their complexity must fade away. His musical facade conjures up appropriate images of autumn leaves flurrying to the ground, blades of grass speckled with dew, and spring flowers shooting up as the text demands. A nearly perfect sense of introspection is portrayed. The autumnal metaphors are especially striking. This music is replete with heart-rending melodies, lush harmonies, and sparkling orchestration. But really, this is music about heartache and resignation. This is music that touches an exposed nerve of the century and of the collective consciousness, music that glorifies beauty and dolorousness, music that tries to rinse away the pain of living through drink, music that can literally hurt us if we dwell too much on it. Mahler, in his classic sardonic wit, feared that his audience would go home and shoot themselves. I implore you not to dwell too much on this music and its corresponding poetry. As a window into the soul of an everyman who happened to be an artist, it is invaluable. But just remember, next time you hear the fading utterances of ewig, ewig... as a bard's mandolin strums and a heavenly celesta sends us into infinity, remember what Mahler is really saying, and remember the essence of the eternal transience that defines the soul of Mahler- always scoping the universe for solutions to problems that multiply within all of us.

Where do I go? I go, I wander in the mountains. I seek peace for my lonely heart. I wander homeward, to my abode! I'll never wander far. Still is my heart, awaiting its hour. The dear earth everywhere blossoms in spring and grows green anew! Everywhere and forever blue is the horizon! Forever ... Forever ...

Copyright statement: image in public domain, text copyright Davis C. Smith, used with permission.

Friday, June 04, 2021

Jailhouse rocks

One of the highlights of a trip to Leeuwarden in 2019 was our first visit to the old prison, which is now used as hotel and office space, while preserving many of the aspects of its original purpose. A square version of this image is for sale in our gallery (limited edition, 10 prints, one sold).

Camera: Canon IXUS 170 handheld
Aperture: f/3.6
Focal length: 4.5 mm
Exposure time: 1/20
ISO speed: 500
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Firn ice cream

Summer has well and truly arrived in the Netherlands... finally. A suitable early Art Deco poster for Firn ice cream from Switzerland, designed by Carl Moos in 1922.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Vintage Posters

Wednesday, June 02, 2021


One of my all-time favourite paintings is Tiger by German expressionist Franz Marc (1880-1916). This masterpiece dates back to 1912, 4 years before his death at the battle of Verdun. I had the privilege to watch the original in the St├Ądtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, about twenty years ago. An awe inspiring experience, and together with the other expressionist works in that highly recommended museum, one of the main reasons for my switch from impressionism to expressionism as my favourite genre. More on Marc in the wikipedia article linked to below.
Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021


Let's give it another try. This song seemed appropriate for another attempt to drag the blog back from the dead - after deleting almost all previous posts. I will be recycling many of the old posts (some from over ten years ago), and throwing in new ones when I feel like it. 

This 1994 song by the Cranberries, inspired by the continuing wars in Northern Ireland, made a lasting impression and is generally considered their best. In contrast to the initial successes which had been more ballad style (like Ode to my family and Linger), Zombie is a loud and distorted rock song with hard guitars and hard voice. It is the classical nineties anti-war song: "With their tanks and their bombs and their guns, in your head they are fighting." The late lamented lead singer Dolores O'Riordan really screams her anger. Artrockometer score: 6/6.

Copyright statement: screenshot from video deemed fair use.