‘Aristaeus met de Bijen’, 2023,
brons en 3D geprint kunststof,
figuur 75 x 36 x 24 cm; Bijen 220 x 75 cm

Dutch artist Gerbrand Volger, born in Wormer (1940), has been influenced by the classical tradition of oil painting, yet he has never sought to align with any artistic movement. Throughout his career spanning over 50 years, he has consistently pursued his own direction, resulting in distinctive and timeless work. In his art, Volger creates a world where fantasy and reality converge in a new dimension. Despite his pessimistic view of humanity, he endeavors, as a true virtuoso, to instill hope through his work.

One of his works, “Aristaeus and the Bees,” explores a lesser-known aspect of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The myth unfolds as follows: Orpheus mourns the death of his beloved Eurydice, who is trapped in the underworld. He is allowed to free her on the condition that he does not look back as Eurydice follows him to the upper world. Unable to resist, Orpheus looks back, resulting in the failed liberation. Eurydice is pursued by the demigod Aristaeus, a shepherd and beekeeper in his daily life. He seeks illicit dealings with the beautiful nymph. During her escape, she steps on a venomous snake; she does not survive its bite. Aristaeus meets a similar fate. Nymphs poison his bees and kill his sheep. Therefore, Gerbrand Volger’s Aristaeus appears rather battered. He holds a lamb against his chest, while above his head, a swarm of bees buzzes.