Silent Altar Boy

Dublin Core


Silent Altar Boy


Blankert, Barend


12” x 12” 18-1/2” x 18-1/2”



Still Image Item Type Metadata


'Being depressed is good for art', Barend Blankert said once in an interview with the Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, on November 14th 1997. Such statements are typical of this painter, for, if anyone is able to ironically distance themselves from Blankert's alienating and somewhat depressing pictures, it is the artist himself. Even though he is by far not as well known among the general public as the other 'realists', such as Matthijs Röling or Henk Helmantel, he is considered one of the most striking figurative present-day painters by experts. To Blankert, born in Kampen, The Netherlands in 1941 and educated at the Rijksnormaalschool for art teachers in Amsterdam, the term 'realist' is far too limited. He is often considered one of the Northern realists, mainly because he lived in Friesland and Groningen for years, and taught at the art-academy Minerva in Groningen from 1971 to 1992, along with Röling, Wout Muller and Diederik Kraaijpoel. However, as opposed to his Northern colleagues, he is not a realist by conviction. At the start of his career he made abstract works for some time, and he developed his present-day figurative method not to record the observed reality as accurately as possible, but because this allowed him to express his themes. Blankert's compositions are not simply literal paintings of people (often modeled on himself), interiors, pieces of furniture and landscapes, but representations of a unique observed reality which create an evocative series of associations and memories, the interpretation of which is left with the viewer. It is not easy to put into words what Blankert's work is about. But as Blankert once put it, his work is 'not intended literary'; 'the image speaks for itself'. 'Barend Blankert, Master of Melancholy'* covers Blankert's entire career, from the early sixties up to and including today, even though the accent is on his later work.




pen and ink, watercolor



Blankert, Barend, “Silent Altar Boy,” Westport Public Schools Digital Collections, accessed August 8, 2022,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:creator Item: Barend Blankert
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Staples Art Storage