Bert Hermans
'Continue Together'
Oil on canvas
70 x 100 x 5 cm

This painting shows the stairwell of Blaak station in Rotterdam. In this stairwell, the stairs and escalators from the platforms come together on an intermediate platform and from there a central staircase goes up to street level.

Two figures are depicted on the intermediate plateau: Marten and Oopjen. Rembrandt painted this couple in 1634. In 2016, the Netherlands purchases the paintings together with France. The Netherlands buys Marten for 80 million, France buys Oopjen for the same amount. The Rijksmuseum and the Louvre have determined that the portraits will always be on display together.

The title of the painting 'Continue together' refers to the history of these portraits. After all, the agreement between the French and Dutch governments stipulated, among other things, that the couple would never be divorced, would never be loaned out to other museum institutions, and would alternate between the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum. So they continue together. Since June 2016 they moved from France to the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum and were hung in the Nachtwachtzaal.

The title of the painting also refers to the ingeniously built stairs of Blaak station that, from the intermediate plateau, offer the couple the opportunity to continue together.