*This conversation has been edited in length for this exhibition.
Van Schayk began this series with a single sketch; a study of Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo’s Divertimento per li regazzi or “Punchinello” series (ca. 1800). So inspired was he by the Italian master’s work, that he went on to create his own collection of 180 drawings devoted entirely to a single su-ject. The unnamed adolescent at the heart of Van Schayk’s collection appears in various episodic situ-ations throughout history, from the galleries of the Renaissance to the concentration camps of World War II. Opposite the adolescent is a solitary figure, who often cloaked in shadow draws the innocent youth onward, eventually leading him towards his death.
During the Dutch Dance Days 2021, thirty drawings from the series can be seen at the Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht.
Prof. Dr. Emilie Sitzia is an Art and Literature Historian and Art Writer. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of History at Maastricht University and a Professor of Illustration at the University of Amsterdam (Fiep Westendorp Foundation Special Chair). She is also the director of the Arts, Sciences and Society research programme at the Institute for Advanced Study in Marseille (Iméra - Université Aix-Marseille). She regularly publishes on Art, Literature and Museology in academic journals and published a book: Art in Literature, Literature in Art in 19th century France (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012).