Amorous secret

Acrylics on linen canvas
Size: 100 cm (w) x 80 cm (h) (40″x31,5″)
Year of production: 2022
Artist: Jitske Schols
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My series ‘Maestro’ is inspired by the life of Frieda Belinfante (1904-1995). Frieda was a Dutch cellist and conductor who became an American citizen in 1955. During the Second World War she was active in the resistance. During her life she experienced a lot of opposition just because she was born a woman. Like the Dutch Antonia Brico (1902-1989) and the French pedagogue and conductor Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979), she was a pioneer who paved the way for other female conductors.

Only 17 years old, Frieda (with her short hair and boyish looks) conquered the heart of pianist and composer Henriëtte Bosmans, with whom she lived from 1922 to 1929. At home Frieda took care of everything, even though Henriette was almost 10 years her senior. The amorous nature of their relationship had to be kept secret. Same-sex love was not publicly consumed at the time.