Sunday, 26 March 2017

Kinderdijk - 2

The Unesco World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk is mostly famous for the windmills, but there is also a nice folktale that explains its name.
For the story I have copied the text on the Wikipedia page about Kinderdijk: 

"The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for 'Children Dike'.
During the Saint Elizabeth Flood of 1421, the 'Grote Hollandse Waard' flooded, but the 'Alblasserwaard' polder stayed unflooded.
It is said that when the terrible storm had subsided, someone went to the dike between these two areas to see what could be saved. In the distance he saw a wooden cradle floating on the water. As it came nearer, some movement was detected. A cat was seen in the cradle trying to keep it in balance by jumping back and forth so that no water could get into it. As the cradle eventually came close enough to the dike for a bystander to pick up the cradle, he saw that a baby was quietly sleeping inside it, nice and dry. The cat had kept the cradle balanced and afloat."

As a reference to that nice folktale a wicker cradle is floating in the water close to the entrance of the site. As we saw the cradle floating I tried to translate the tale to our French guests. I hope they could understand enough of my French to appreciate what I was telling them.

The area has a lot of water, dikes and small bridges and not all the reeds were harvested. The windmills were in plain sight with most of the reeds cut.
I wanted to get a nice composition with some windmills of the 'ordinary' type and another one, the one on the right is a 'wipmolen' or wip mill.  The reference picture I made for this purpose shows the cradle from the tale, so I decided to include the cradle in the painting, draw some extra attention to it and tell the story in my blog post. 

I hope you also enjoyed the story of the baby and the cat in the cradle, surviving the flood.

More information about the painting (size, materials used, etc) can be found at my website 


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