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Genoemde kunstenaars: artist station Rotterdam/paiting gallery New York, Philip Leslie Hale, a fair-haired American lady, Wilbur A. Reaser (first hallgarten prize), young Danish-American (= mogelijk David Axel Ericson), an Englishwoman with bun
Genoemde inwoners: vrouw van Warendorp, Meinchen (Mijntje)

A Holland Art Village

THE finding of the art village was one of those lucky
chances of travel which, like the spoils of war, come not al-
ways to the most deserving. We were on our way to Delft
and had stopped at Rotterdam to take the boat up the canal.
There were four of us; we were dusty and travel-worn, and it
was a stifling hot day, but we were sustained by visions of a
spotless hotel hung round with blue and white china, where
soon we would be reposing in high Dutch beds between cool
linen sheets. At that moment we were told that the last boat
for the day had gone. Yes, there was a train, but not for
two hours, and it had required ten minutes and the use of
four languages to extract these interesting facts from the
ticket agent. Our misery was complete when he gave us in
change a handful of unknown coin. In our helplessness we
appealed to an American fellow-traveller, who proved the
"friend in need." He was an artist and knew Holland well,

and the outcome of our conversation was the abandonment of
Delft for the quaint village.
Alighting from the train of which I wrote, some miles from
Rotterdam, we were soon bowling along one of Napoleon's
military roads in a "rijting," or open carriage. Lofty elm-
trees bordering the way lifted their branches high overhead,
locking them together to form a colossal Gothic arch which
extended unbroken as far as the eye could reach.
Spreading beneath was a carpet of grass sprinkled over
with English daisies, the "wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower"
of which Burns speaks, and below the road on both sides flowed
streams of clear water through grassy ditches. Beyond lay a perfecty
level country of pasture and grain field dotted over with Holstein
cattle, and suggesting a gigantic checker-board with black and white
checkers on green and yellow squares.
Whilst the harvesters were piling high their last wagon-load,
the delicate perfume of new-mown hay came to us mingled
with the scent of ripe strawberries, and here and there the
dark sails of a wind-mill spinning with a jerky motion against
the sky gave animation to the still landscape. The sweet
influences of the hour had stolen our fatigue long before
we reached the quaint village of Rijsoord, and as we drove
down its one street, where all the houses stand in a straight
line close beside the road, a sudden turn disclosed the river
Waal. On its farther shore there stood a chalet-like building,
picturesque, Alpine, not "Dutch" at all. A light balcony

stretched far out from under low-hanging eaves and served as
a boat-house for a little fleet of skiffs moored beneath it. I
have often fished from that balcony. It was one of our after-
dinner amusements, for sliding past the very foundations of the
house the sleepy river Waal flowed irresolutely towards the
west between banks fringed with willow.
It resembled at that moment a gorgeous Roman sash, its colors borrowed
from the glowing sky, and indeed the scene present ed from the inn was at
all times so boldly picturesque that I was never quite sure that I was
not taking part in a comic opera. The apple-cheeked, tow headed mädchen who
perpetually clattered across the bridge in their wooden shoes seemed
momentarily about to face and burst into song, and from the bright red
cottage opposite, with a mossy roof, I expected to see emerge at any moment a
lovelorn tenor who would pour forth his woes to me in an aria.
Drawing nearer the inn our eyes were gladdened by the sight of
the hostess, Frau Warendorp, who stood at the door to welcome
us, smiling, rosy, immaculate. She wore a long, white apron and
a wide, white head dress of the kind adopted by all Holland women
at the age of sixteen. It was held in place by large and
conspicuous gold ornaments, called krüllen. She knew "a leetle

" and led the way to the dining-room, where the table
was laid for tea. A glance around the room reminded us that
our friend of the Rotterdam station had told us that the inn and
village were known to few save artists, Edward Everett Hale's
having "discovered" the place and opened it up to his
fellow-countrymen of the Paris art schools. The fireplace and
panels of the door were decorated with landscapes in oil, and
canvases turned upside down served for shelves in different
parts of the room, and the group that presently assembled at
the tea-table bore out the general artistic character. Most of
the painters were Americans of widely varying types, but having
in common an expression of geniality and unworldliness
and a spirit of what De Wolf Hopper calls "bonhominie"
that made every meal at the inn a feast. The tea-table was
lighted, according to a Holland custom, by little spirit-lamps
enclosed in white porcelain shades. They served the double
purpose of softly illuminating the table and keeping hot the
pots of tea and coffee placed on top of them. Another touch of
color was added by an earthen brazier filled with live coals.
On this we that liked toast made our own, after helping our-
selves to brown or white bread served in large loaves on a
side table. Oat-meal, blended to a sweet creaminess by hours
of slow cooking, simmered in a large pot just inside the fire-

place, and yellow Dutch cheese, cold meat, and ripe straw-berries
completed the tempting re past. It was served by Meinchen, a
typical Dutch village girl with a rose-leaf complexion, a wealth of
yellow braided hair, and a soft, hesitating voice. Holding her head a
little on one side, she said to each of us in turn: "Like you an i ?"
— adding: "Like you your i boiled three minutes?" It was suggestive of the
Inquisition, but we did not take her pronunciation of "egg" lite rally,
and soon she returned with the "ies" under her apron, from which she rolled
them softly on the table-cloth.
Opposite me sat a fair-haired American lady who was making
a study of the Dutch peasant type and the national head-
dresses. These she was painting in miniature on ivory in a
manner scarcely inferior to Amelia Küssner's best work. A
young Danish-American represented the buoyant, perennially
youthful type of artist, and yet another interesting figure
was that of a young man from Iowa, a recent winner of the
Halgarten first prize at the Academy of Design in New York [= Wilbur A. Reaser].
A class of younger students had followed him from Paris to
sketch under his guidance, and every morning he and they,
laden with easels, camp-stools, and color-boxes, would troop
gaily away down the avenue of elms, returning in the evening
tired out but always hopeful.
My neighbor on my right deserves more than passing
notice. She was an Englishwoman striving to keep middle
age at bay by a bird-like and chirrupy manner. Her remark-
able coiffure consisted of a large quantity of hair twisted into
a complicated geometrical figure, dropped into a net and
fastened securely to the back of her head. This form of hair-
dressing is known in England as a "bun," and she informed
me that, although the prevailing forms in vogue were "tea-pot
handles" and "door-knobs," she preferred "buns."
After supper our hostess introduced us to the contents of a

cupboard occupying one entire side of the dining-room, inviting
us to take from it whatever we wanted whenever we
wished. The order of meals was breakfast at half-past seven,
coffee at eleven, dinner at one, five o'clock tea, and the free
dom of the cupboard at all times. Nevertheless Frau Warendorp
was always a little anxious lest we should not have
enough to eat. She hoped we would not think her extortionate
if she charged us four guldens (about eighty cents) a day.
We did not object to the price.
Next to the dining-room the most interesting part of the
house was the studio on the upper floor. From its walls the
faces of the villagers looked down from canvas and academy
board, and the room itself, with its ancient Dutch furniture,
queer brass tea-kettles and jugs, bright-colored china and brica-
brac, resembled a curiosity shop where confusion reigned
The hospitality of the artists made us welcome to their
sanctum at all hours, and when they were "not in a working
mood,' they would amuse themselves by doing monotypes, a
kind of crude etching, of us. When the likenesses were finished,
we would flock with great glee to the laundry and print these
works of art by running plates and paper through the clothes-
On rainy days, when the artists could not work out of
doors, after-dinner coffee was served on the piazza, whilst the
lazy smoked pipes and the ambitious fished for minnows. Always
eager for their society, we would sit for hours in a sheltered
corner listening to "the sound of summer showers on
the twinkling grass," and learning many secrets of art. One
of them was, why painters frequently choose for models men
and women who are not conventionally beautiful. It is because
what the artist seeks is the characteristic expression
showing the soul behind rather than regularity of feature or

beauty of color; so, among the peasants, the faces that spoke
most eloquently of hard, continuous toil, that wore the deep-
est tints wrought by sun and rain, were the faces chosen for
models. An hour in the day which we eagerly seized was the
one directly- after supper when the artists would go out for a
little evening "motif." Sometimes it would be in a boat, and
our river excursions were enlivened by the musical accompaniment
of accordeons played by the peasants as they sat through
the long twilight in their gardens along the river bank.
The accordeon occupies in Holland the place of the parlor
organ in America, and is the only musical instrument I remember
having seen in the village homes.
The houses are usually one story and a half high, with lowhanging
gable roofs. They are poorly lighted, as there is a
tax on window glass, also on chimneys and house servants.
The owners, mostly field laborers, receiving about forty cents
per day wages, dispense as much as possible with luxuries.
Scrubbing goes on at all times, and includes everything in and
about the house, from the shingles on the roof to the rows of
wooden shoes standing outside the door to be scoured and
whitened every evening. The bed-room and parlor combined
has one or more deep recesses in the wall, in which the beds
are made. Curtains entirely conceal these coffin-like places of
slumber during the day. Brass and copper cooking utensils of
rare design are in common use, and bits of antique Delft ware
are not unusual among the household china. The Dutch peasant
invests his superfluous wealth in silver, in the form of curious and
beautiful bag-clasps, brooches, buckles, vinaigrettes, and snuffboxes,
which are worn with great pride by both men and women on festival days. The
marriage dowry consists of some such pieces of silver, in addition
to the krüllen which are the boast of every Holland woman.
They vary in material and value according to the wealth
of the family, of which they are

regarded an index. Frau Warendorp had a pair gemmed with pearls,
but ordinarily she contented herself with wearing the simple cone-shaped
krüllen made of spiral gold wire. She called our attention, however, to the
thickness of this wire, adding that there was none quite so heavy in the village.
A less pretentious spiral than the frau's costs one hundred dollars.
Another object of pride among the simple women is their collection of head-dresses
made of finest lace, the work of their leisure hours. Its filmy
whiteness brings out to perfection the Holland complexion.
The milky fair skin and pink cheeks of childhood become in
middle age streaked with crimson like a fall pippin, but there
remains always a suggestion of the underlying fairness producing
a "warm" tint much admired by artists and contrasting
strikingly with the pale, straw-colored hair almost universal
amongst Holland women. One who looks for beauty
except in color will be disappointed, however. Even the
children have angular little bodies and expressionless faces.
They look weary, as if the burden of toil to be their portion
already rested on their young shoulders. Their pleasures
they take sadly, and being taught to knit at the age of
four, their fingers are flying even at their play. During our
stay one of the artists gave them a fête. I remember but one
or two who showed any pleasure or surprise. "Mooi" (pretty)
was the sole comment of the most enthusiastic, though one
boy did ask for "ein tooter" (a horn), then, returning asked
for "ander tooter" for his friend.
On bright days we drove about the country or over to
Dordrecht, with its dignified old cathedral standing on the
brink of a wide river, wherein the minutest detail of its tow~ering
façade is reproduced. The interior is bare and cold, for
since the Reformation its richly painted walls and ceiling have
been hidden beneath a coat of white plaster. In places the

chipping lime uncovered a bit of faded fresco. Here the mild
face of some mediaeval saint smiles out; there a group of
cherubs sing, and both smile and song are mute but eloquent
appeals for the restoration of beauty to God's house.
The town itself is full of dreamy charm and quite untouched
by the modern spirit, taking its time for all things
in a leisurely, old-fashioned way. The ancient drawbridges
yawn themselves open to let an occasional fat-sided canal-boat
drift through, and there is no trace of the bustling little
steamboats so numerous on the Amsterdam canals. These,
instead of waiting for drawbridges to let them pass, lower
their adjustable smoke-stacks, duck under, and "bob up
serenely" on the other side.
On the road from Dordrecht one can never fail of interesting
sights. It may be a milk cart drawn by three dogs harnessed
abreast, and urged on by a lumbering driver who walks
beside them; or it may be a vender of cherries, big red ones
heaped up in straw baskets. These he will deliver to you on
a large green leaf at the rate of four cents a pound. It may
be a milk-maid, a most winsome sight when the sunbeams filtering
through the leaves dance showed yellow in tremulous patches on her
white head-gear, striking shafts of light from the burnished
brass milk-cans she carries suspended from a yoke about her
The Holland milk-can is exactly like the ancient Greek
water-jug, except that it is made of brass and has a handle.
It is one of many instances where the artistic spirit has been
awakened in the Dutch by the touch of brass.
Between the trees of the Dordrecht road the landscape
showed yellow, with wheat fields splashed over with scarlet
poppies like blood-stains, and intersected by long, straight lines
of trees marking the cross-roads.
The prominent characteristic of the Dutch landscape is pre-

cision. God gave these people the materials for a country, but
they made it themselves.
Nature is never in a lavish mood in Holland. She is docile
and responds to all that is asked of her, but she volunteers
nothing. There is absolutely no waste. Trees never grow in
clumps scattered through the fields, and I do not recall an
acre of woodland in all Holland. The numerous trees are
planted along the edges of the dikes, and as they absorb about
the same amount of water from the ditches at their feet, they
are uniform in size. In the canals and ditches, that form a
network over all Holland, the water is changed every forty-
eight hours by the aid of wind-mills and steam waterworks,
and when it reaches the sea-coast the whole of the vast over-
flow is lifted over the sand dunes and emptied into the sea.
To bring a desolate waste of nearly ten thousand square miles
to the perfection of modern Holland means an expenditure of
labor well-nigh inconceivable. The achievements of Hannibal's
armies and Napoleon's legions are not more colossal. To the
student of history Holland presents a most interesting example
of the force of circumstances in the moulding of character;

for the unflinching purpose and unwearying patience that could
wrest a country from the waters, then set bounds to the ocean
itself, have borne fruit in that national characteristic, composed
of tenacity and faith and hope in the face of fearful
odds, which we call "Dutch courage."
The problem of material existence has taxed the Holland
mind immemorially and left no time for the growth of imagination
and fancy. Uniform stolidity of glance and deportment
attest that it is the practical view of life that prevails. Poetry
is not native to this soil. In religious thought fanaticism appears
to go handin-hand with a certain moral laxness. I saw
a curious sight after a church festival that occurs once a year
and assembles some five thousand country folk. The religious
service over, the young people scattered to the various inns
about the country for supper and recreation. About forty
couples came to Rijsoord, and after applying themselves vigorously
to Frau Warendorp's bill of fare and Herr Warendorp's
wine-list, they clearly evinced their appreciation of joys other
than spiritual. The evening was still young when nearly every
one of the twenty maidens had reclined her head on the
shoulder of her accompanying swain safe within the circle of
his arm. There were a few exceptions, but in these cases it

was the young man who reposed on the shoulder of the young
woman. My mind reverted to the innocent gayety of the
French peasants, amongst whom, I think one could not happen
on such a sight, and although Frau Warendorp did her best to
remove an unpleasant impression, remarking that they came from
"Zeeland," which is equivalent to saying they were from
New Jersey and were not accountable, I was but half convinced.
At that same moment, and within a stone's throw of this love-feast,
some over-scrupulous Dutchmen were paying the penalty in the county jail of a
too rigid interpretation of the decalogue. Undue zeal for
the glory of God had inspired them to prevent two young
men from riding through their town on bicycles on Sunday.
In the altercation the men of the village
"Proved that they were orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks,
and tumbled one of the young men into the canal. He proved
to be the son of the mayor of Rotterdam, and the next day
an officer appeared with an order of arrest for these muscular
The church festival brought together a great variety of
national costume. The Zeeland girls wore black gowns made
with short, tight sleeves and cut square at the neck. Their
hands and round white arms were bare, and they wore necklaces
made of four rows of cut jet beads. Their krüllen were
flat and highly polished like little mirrors. The men wore
corduroy bloomers and roundabout jackets with satin sleeves.
Flat beaver hats and belts clasped with huge silver buckles
completed the rather unattractive costume. Some carried
knives in pendant silver sheaths, but on this occasion they
served only the peaceful purpose of spreading butter on bread

for hungry sweethearts. The artists buzzed about like bees
that afternoon, trying surreptitiously to jot down bits of costume;
but the girls were too quick for them. When they
were told, however, that the artists were only trying to "take
their pictures," they were thoroughly pleased, and one and all
offered to pose.
A few days later it came our turn to ride for the last time
down the avenue of elms, throwing pennies to the children,
waving our handkerchiefs and gazing after the Rijsoordsch
Koffiehuis until the turn of the road hid it from our wistful
But I had not yet seen the last of Rijsoord. A year later,
as I was strolling through a picture gallery in New York, I
stopped with a cry of pleasure before a familiar avenue of
. It was twilight; the road was in deep shadow, and
there was the turn; and I peered hard into the canvas for a
glimpse of the inn and Frau Warendorp smiling at the door.
But the artist had stopped short of them. In the corner of
the canvas I read his name. It was that of our guide and
friend, the artist we met that first day at the Rotterdam

Making of America Journal Articles (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/bac8387.0070.418/534)

Catholic world door Eliza Leypold Good (volume 70, Issue 418, Jan 1900; pp. 514-526)