"Hey, Sailor, New in Town?"

Peter Paul Rumdens

One of the most talented, as well as the most dissipated artists of the Depressionist School, Rumdens, believed to be the pseudonym of Rumbrand van Rijn, spent his entire creative life in cheap bars, low dives, brothels and honkytonks. His standard challenge of being able to draw any man in a bar under the table was rarely accepted, as his capacity for gin cut with turpentine and linseed oil was legendary.


The selection here is from his later period, as indicated by the low point of view. Near the end of his life he rarely rose from the floor, as Dottlemeyer mentions in his book, Rumdens: The Supine Period


The harlot is believed to be Trixie Roomsdoorf, at one time the priciest courtesan in Amsterdam, now obviously well past her prime and indifferent to the coquetries of the trade, as evidenced by her state of déshabillé and the tattoo listing various services, with prices in 5 different currencies, the better to solicit the sailor trade.


The identity of the man in the hot tub has not been conclusively established.


Rumdens died as he lived, drowning in a hogshead of fortified brandy. According to tradition his last words were, "Hey, Franz, hold my brush and watch this!"


Many years later Rumdens' sister, Almond Joy, admitted that her brother hated painting and would much rather have been a shoe salesman.

 

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