Interview with Marc Rieu
2002, Translation by Sonja
How long have you been studying at the KUN?
(Catholic University of Nijmegen). (Nijmegen is a city in the
province of Gelderland)
Marc: This is my fourth year
What do you find is the most fascinating period of Art history?
Marc: Gothic (French Cathedrals, Romantic (Casper David Friedrich cum suis) and the American 19e
century art of Painting. (landschappen van Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, etc)
What do you think is the least interesting period of Art history?
Marc: Modern abstract art (Carl Andre, Anthony Caro, Joseph Beys and Jackson Pollock- to name a few
out of the large variety of Newest Time)
What are your favorite artists?
Marc: Caspar David Friedrich, Frederick Edwin Church, Rene Magritte (exceptions confirm the rule...)
What is your favorite piece of art?
Marc: It may be cliché to chose this work of the hero of the German romanticism -Friedrich at least for
me plays a heroic role in this exciting and sublime trend in art- but it can never hurt to express my praise
and respect for the love of my youth, which will never be lost. Thanks to this piece of art I got to know
about the artist; Casper David Friedich and his mysterious landscapes with sinister cloud formations and
frightening high mountains. Since then I am a great admirer of landscape paintings, not just from
Friedrich, but also of American artists, who regarding this art trend are true masters. (Church, Bierstadt
and so forth)
Anyway, from this large group fell my choice on this painting from 1818 (Friedrich was then forty four).
In the first place is it my favorite artwork because it has so much atmosphere; it always brings up mixed
feelings and thoughts, when I look at it.
In the second place is this my favorite piece of art, because it inspires me time and time again while I am
working on a painting myself. Friedrich's in mystery wrapped mountains and brilliant ominous sky often
inspire me to start on a new work myself. He is my example when I am working on my hobby!
Now I can play a symphony of for instance Beethoven in the background -this German sound poet is my
musical hero of romance -but often that is not enough.... Indeed I have a nice anecdote about that. As
a toddler I listened, while I was in the playpen, often to records (no CDs, what a time!) which my parents
used to play. Even at that time I already valued the classics enormously, and my favorite was an LP
with Beethoven's Sixth Symphonies (The Pastoral). My mother or father would then tell me the story
which more or less is behind the music. I will tell you about that some other time, but recently I
discovered, to my big surprise, that on the cover of that LP is a painting of Friedrich. Now if that is not a
Is it not true that in the first place, whether you are busy with art history or any related subject, that an
artist, be it painter, composer, or any other profession in that area has to appeal to you. With that in
mind I chose for 'The walker above the misty sea'.
What is your favorite saying?
Marc: Look out for tomorrow- Remember yesterday- but live for today!
What are your hobbies?
Marc: Painting, reading, Listening to music (movie and classical Music) a day out with my girlfriend,
cooking (and eating it), in short: enjoy live!
What do you dislike?
Marc: People who tell me how I should do this or that...
What are your best character traits?
Marc: I would love for everybody to enjoy themselves, and that I can help do so. (a study friend of
mine- I will not name her- says that I am very altruistic. Thank you very much!)
What is your worst characteristic?
Marc: Once in a while I will not give people a chance to tell their story. In other words, sometimes I form
a opinion about something much to fast!
What is your favorite food?
Marc: As long as pasta is the base of the meal I am happy. If you really want me to chose: Macaroni
with tomato sauce, ham and onions in the oven with a thick layer of cheese on it. You can really wake
me up at all hours of the night for that. You can even wake me up with it- understand,- but that would be
What is your favorite show?
An enjoyable quiz that tests your knowledge like 'With knife on the table'
or 'Two for Twelve' (Dutch game shows), the weakest link. Lately I also
watched the Mole. (I missed the last one)
What is your favorite book?
Oh, there are so many.... At the moment I am reading the Hobbit.
So basically historical novels and fantasy.
What is your favorite vacation destination?
France (Cote d'Azur, Vogezen, Italy (Tuscany and Venetian lagune) and Germany (Black forest, Beieren
What is your favorite season?
Definitely Fall: Beautiful colors in nature, cozily with a fire in the fireplace, while outside it is storming.
(thunder, hail, wind the whole kit and caboodle.)
As final question what would you like to tell us?
Well it would be dumb to quote Ivo's original saying, so therefor I will say...:"Enjoy live, it is only for a
short time". Or "May the Art be With You All!'. You choose which feels best to you.
Feb, 2007 Marc teaches at the Volksuniversiteit Maasland. (Maasland University) in Geleen. (Town in
Marc still studies Art history in Nijmegen, he developed a special interest in Caspar David Friedrich and
Johan Christian Dahl. He is working on his Masters. His focus is on Romance in the 19th Century.
He also keeps busy with his two passions, the painting of landscapes and collecting and the study of
classical and film music.
Monique and Janny in Maastricht
2005. Later we realized Marc was
Marc at Andre's concert March 2006
The same appealing smile and smiling eyes as his
Dad, and his Mom's dark hair.
Marc in the boutique in Maastricht.
Caspar David Friedrich 1818
Oil paint on canvas, 98,4 x 74,8 cm.
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
With the knife on the table Quiz