Acrylics on linen canvas
Size: 200 cm (w) x 150 cm (h)
Year of production: 2022
Artist: Jitske Schols
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. Writer/journalist Toni Boumans wrote down her story in her book ‘Een schitterend vergeten leven’.
During WWII Frieda took an active part in the attack on the Population Register of Amsterdam, which attempted to save the lives of many Jews. Her friends of Group 2000 with whom she committed the attack were betrayed, arrested and executed. Frieda managed to flee to Switzerland, dressed as a man. After the war she returned to the Netherlands. Depressed from all the misery she’d been through, she hoped something had changed. But all she found was a Netherlands that was even more conservative than before the war. A cold shower for Frieda. And although it took a while, nothing won’t get Frieda down. She makes a decision and leaves for America.
I am not trying to paint reality. What I paint is just my imagination.