rijksmuseum table


client: De Rijksstudio award 2017
location: Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands
realisation: 2017, competition

The Rijksstudio award 2017 challenges us to re-use one or more art pieces from Rijksmuseum collection, giving it a new life, in a creative and contemporary approach. In response to this artistic request, we felt a urge to answer to the follow parameters: salability; ease of production; introduction of a new concept; and, quality. Our aim is to give people the opportunity to buy a brand new design   that is not a copy, but a re-interpretation of a relevant art piece. We want people to be proud of exhibiting this artwork making themselves, or their house, a ‘museum’.   

In regard of this premise, it was agreed that table cloths are not only a required item that many people are aiming to buy, but it has also a wide potential as base to an artistic work. Almost as starting an oil painting on a white canvas, we started with an empty screen (120x90 cm – table size without edges) and digital tools, knowing that its future was not a wall but a table.

The selection of the art piece, to start working with, was both a matter of popularity and personal taste. The portrait of Marten Soolmans, painted by Rembrant, 1634, was deeply analyzed in terms of its composition, color pallet, textures and detailing. From this analysis and consequent design, resulted three proposals:

1. Digital composition merging, recreating and simplifying the details from the embroidered collar and belt;

2. Recreation of Soolmans` outfit in different table cloth`s layers , attributing them patterns and materials. It is a creation of a `man as a table cloth`, where elements as hair, collar, cloths, belt and shoes are included;

3. Introduction of a new table cloth concept, in which the table cloth contains itself a thermo-protector element to easily place hot pans. This approach, can be simply applied to several other paintings, by selecting 2 different patterns and 1 element of the art piece.   

As different people has different tastes, we consider that option of choice is fundamental.

With the table set, we wish you

Bon appétit!


belleluxi©Heleen van Heel