Eefje De Visser Bezoekt Het Mauritshuis 2

Looking with your ears

Told by:

Spinvis Parel Bekijk Het Mauritshuis met je oren

Spinvis

Singer

Merol Profielfoto

MEROL

Singer

Jett Rebel Profielfoto

Jett Rebel

Singer

The Kik

The Kik

Band

Eefje De Visser

Eefje de Visser

Singer

Looking at art with your ears?! How? Well, together with NN Group we got the help of some great Dutch musicians. Jett Rebel, Eefje de Visser and Spinvis, among others, selected a painting and wrote a pop song about it. Let their music transport you to the world hidden between the layers of paint. We are willing to bet that you will never look at these paintings the same way again.

Choose your ear coach

Spinvis chose a painting by Vermeer, Jett Rebel one by Rubens and Willie Wartaal a Jan Steen. Choose your favourite artist and listen up. Because 17th-century art says so much more about you than you think. As you’re about to find out.

Bekijke Het Mauritshuis Met Je Oren Artiesten

MEROL makes a ‘slippertje’ (Dutch for a slipper and having a fling)

The red slippers in this painting by Joachim Wtewael were the inspiration for MEROL's song Slippertje. In this song, MEROL (who you could maybe know from Lekker met de meiden and Hou je bek en bef me) focuses on the consequences of being unfaithful.

I didn't lose my way
I wasn't suddenly in a daze
Sorry babe, I have no excuse
I wasn't tricked into it
It was my choice
It's my fault

All audio clips

  • MEROL

    Singer

    Merol Profielfoto
Joachim Wtewael Mars En Venus Betrapt Door Vulcanus MH223 Mauritshuis

MEROL’s choice

Why a 'Slippertje'?

I call you Pearl

‘We know nothing about that girl and yet she is world famous.’ Spinvis wanted to write a song about that curious fact. He is fascinated by all the umbrellas, lunch boxes and fridge magnets featuring Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. And yet nobody knows who she is. He captured her mystique in poetic lyrics with an almost religious chamber choir.

I call you bird
I call you riddle
You saw spring on the beach
The horses on the land
I call you fable
I call you rain
I call you light-years
After all that has been said
I call you here and now and real
And unattainable

Vermeer Meisje Met De Parel Mh670 Mauritshuis Den Haag

All audio clips

  • Spinvis

    Singer

    Spinvis Parel Bekijk Het Mauritshuis met je oren

Spinvis - Parel

Your mother

For Jett Rebel, the ‘modello’ (oil sketch) for the Ascension of the Virgin Mary by Peter Paul Rubens is about a mother’s role. He showcases her in Heaven's got a place for you. She is no longer the one who takes care of Christ and comes in second place. For once, it’s all about her.

Mama put in everyone first
Everyone except herself
And if you ask her what about you
She'll say that's what all good moms do
Simon and Johnny and Phil
Everyone can stay the night
Mama's always giving her best
But mama has the need for some rest

All audio clips

  • Jett Rebel

    Singer

    Jett Rebel Profielfoto
Peter Paul Rubens Modello Voor De Hemelvaart Van Maria MH926 Mauritshuis

Jett Rebel - Heaven’s got a place for you

Jett Rebel's choice

The story behind the artwork and the song

Cybele!

Just as Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrik van Balen joined forces 400 years ago to create Garland of Fruit Surrounding a Depiction of Cybele Receiving Gifts from Personifications of the Four Seasons (yup, that really is the title), singer-songwriter Eefje de Visser and her friend Pieterjan Coppejans composed Cybele together. And they are also expecting a child. How could you not be grateful to the goddess of fertility for that!

Mankind reaps its fruits, celebrates life
The sun and rain abundance and wild
Gods look down
How man and beast on earth live in peace

Jan Brueghel De Oude, Hendrik Van Balen, Krans Van Vruchten Rond Een Voorstelling Met Cybele MH233 Mauritshuis

All audio clips

  • Eefje de Visser

    Singer

    Eefje De Visser

Eefje de Visser - Cybele

Eefje de Visser's choice

The story behind the artwork and the song

The only one

This is Jakob Omphalius and Elisabeth Bellinghausen. They were rich and engaged to be married, which is why the couple had this diptych (two panels with hinged frames) painted in 1538-39. However, the two portraits became separated in the course of the years, and Elisabeth Bellinghausen ultimately ended up alone in the Mauritshuis in 1951. Jakob's portrait was only found again around 2019, and the pair was finally reunited after 125 years. The Kik - a music group notable for paying homage to 1960’s-era Beat music with Dutch lyrics - found this such a beautiful story that they wrote a love song about it.

She sat there, serene and timeless
A nobleman came by and he spoke to her
Please be my wife, please be my bride
And through a layer of varnish a soft sound was heard

Thank you but no, it's no use
For there is only one whom I love dearly
So keep your rose, your valentine
For Jakob is the only one for me

Bartholomäus Bruyn De Oude Portret Van Jakob Omphalius MH1225 Mauritshuis (1)

All audio clips

  • The Kik

    Band

    The Kik

The Kik - Ware Jakob

The Kik's choice

Dope little dog

Jan Steen painted this story about Moses and the Pharaoh's crown as a farce. Moses (that's the crying toddler) was considered a threat to Egypt, which is why the pharaoh of Egypt sitting on his throne is in such a bad mood. But what's up with that weird little dog in the corner? Willie Wartaal wrote a song about power and a dope little dog.

You and me together in the biz
Look me in the eyes, trust me when I say
You and me together are bigger than me
We've got shit to do
It's gonna be a very long ride
Little Mosie, Mosie you're still young
Listen to me, I'm dope anyway
The how and the what are still to come
Just lead the god damn parade

Jan Steen Mozes En De Kroon Van De Farao MH1167 Mauritshuis

All audio clips

  • Willie Wartaal

    Singer

    Willie Wartaal

Willy Wartaal's choice

Damn, this is beautiful

Harrie Jekkers’ first girlfriend (do you know the Dutch song Oh Oh Den Haag by any chance? He wrote it) came from Delft. When Harrie looks at Vermeer's View of Delft, he sees a completely different sight.

In the clouds and the water
And in the changing light
I only see
An even more beautiful Delft sight
Of the very first girl
Who in the evening after work
Gave me my fist kiss in Delft
Near the Nieuwe Kerk

All audio clips

  • Harrie Jekkers

    Singer

    Harrie Jekkers
Vermeer Gezicht Op Delft Mh0092 Mauritshuis

Harrie Jekker's choice

Learn more about View of Delft