For comments or suggestions, mail p.h.gommers@outlook.com 


The political interpretation of Europe's eponym has found its strongest expression with the caricatures of the Europa myth in the general press representing problems around the EU, whereby goddess Europa stands for unity and the bull for conservative status quo.
A neat example appeared in rhe weekend issue of the Dutch NRC of 4/5 november 2017. An extensive article discussed  the political drive in Catalonia to independence and was accompanied by two cartoons, signed Hajo, (de Reyger)The first one suggested that Europe would distance herself from this movement

  _              35_01                      35_02


The first prent shows Europa running away from a further parcellation of her continent. The accompanying headline reads: "The Catalans play a dangerous game". The second picture suggests that Catelonia would throw off Europa, by setting herself outside the European Union. In spite of Catelonian contentions they want to remain in Europe. It is difficult to apprehend that they want to continue to cohabit with wider Europe but not with their own Iberians



   Rotterdam, January 7, 2018, , an attentive reader



The Hague, Noordeinde shopping area debouches on the Royal Palace 'Noordeinde' in the old center of the city. Almost  neighbouring the king's Palace, with only a couple of houses in between, stood the city-mansion  of the powerful "De Fagel" dynasty. Toplevel civilservants, diplomats and political leaders of the country. A Willem Fagel was Raadspensionaris van Holland, 1672-1688, during the first part of the reign of stadhouder Willem III, later king of Engeland. His towngarden with a beautiful small baroque townhouse neighboured the Palacepark and was linked with the park  by crossing a tiny trench. Presently, the townhouse has become part of the Palace garden.

The mansion of the Fagel family has nowadays been partitioned into four shops, although the roof still spans the four houses. Appropriately, one of the shops, a bistro has been named, 'Fagel's salon' and quite for an obvious reason.


The frontroom of the Bistro must have been a formal room of the Fagel's Residency. The amazing question is, how could this beautiful rococo chimney have survived two to two and a half century. The previous owner was an Antiquair, but before that ?? The grey marble mantelshelf carries the typical rococo half size mirror and above a painting of Europe sitting on a white bull-Zeus surrounded with exciting friends. There is no doubt that Holland was in the midst of a relative quiet waiting for the revolutionary storm to break loose througout Europe.


The Hague,  February, 2018 , a coffee companion



The Sunday afternoon concerts of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum take place in its Auditorium. On the afternoon of the 19th February a quartet of the Amsterdam Conservatorium was invited to play a trio of Baroque sonates. The quartet, was formed by  Kat Carson, soprano, Dorota Matejová, traverso (ancient German flute),Punto Bawono, theorbo (long 12 string lute), Yotam Haran, cello.
They played a.o. the sonate Europe, from Michel Pignolet de Monteclair, 1667-1737. The script follows in colourful wording the well known version of the myth.



An anonymous painting of Europe on the bull of the second part of he 16th century, out of the not-exhibited reserve of paintings of the Rijksmuseum, was shown on a screen, assisting  Marco Kassenaar explaining the Europe myth.


Amsterdam, 1 march,    from a music-lover



Recently, The painting  of the Europa myth by Jean Baptiste-Marie Pierre (1713-1789) was exhibited at the Art-exchange, TEFAF of Maastricht, NL, in january  this year. In my study I was able to show a print of the coloured engraving after his oil by Louis Simon Lempereur(1728-1807) p.155. At that time the where abouts of the painting was unknown. The difference in colourite is so impressive, that a comparaison is really enjoyable.


The engraving is shown on page 155 in reverse. but the lightning and the details are striking. Bull-Zeus is glowing white. Here there are less maiden, while lempereur added two tritons. Zeus companion the eagle is flying above his head with the thunderbolts of Zeus in his beak. A little eros descends from above with a flowercrown of 'Europe' in her hands. On the whole it looks more gentil and rustic, while the engraving is definitely more baroque.

the Hague, april  2018               from a Maastricht visitor of TEFAF


Pendulum windows from long-case clocks were often embellished with a flat copper framing representing flowers or mythical figures. My study shows on pages 142/3 such a window of an Amsterdam long-case clock with a copper frame of Europe on the bull. However there are also Dutch hanging, tail-clocks  with such pendulum windows.

35_06               35_07

The above is a Dutch shortened tail-clock. On the enlarged, next picture Europe and the bull are clearly in view. The frame does not differ much from the one on the long-case clock. Obviously, these cupper frames were made in series.

Amsterdam, auction house 'De Eenhoorn' , February, 2018      a potential buyer


In his book Delftware tiles (Calmann e King Ltd. London, 1997) Hans van Lemmen presents a number of tiles with mythological representations. Tile 35_08, from the middle of the 17th century, shows Europa on the back of bullZeus in a rather crude way. The description mentions that Zeus is crossing with her The Bosporus instead of going to Crete.

35_08        35_09  

Tile 35_09 was made more recently, after 1940 in Makkum, Friesland. The primitive style of the two prints look rather similar with the same cornerdesign of socalled oxenhead. An important difference in interpretation is the rarely seen fishtail of bullZeus. Probably based on the suggestion first made by Nonnos of Panapolis in his Dionysica from the 5th century.   

The Haque,  6 june,   Europa myth exhibition, Residence Chateau Bleu,  The Haque, NL