When Jeroen Olyslaegers was ten years old and still just Jeroen, named after Jeroen Bosch, now he is a celebrated author, he asked his father for permission to leaf through his books with images of famous paintings. ‘Of course,’ replied Olyslaeger’s senior, delighted that his son was interested in painting. Jeroen leafed through and did not stop, as one might think, at Jeroen Bosch, no, he was sucked into the world of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. He lost himself in Dull Griet, a painting from 1563. He saw an apocalyptic city ablaze. From the city comes a wide stream, which starts clear but gradually turns more and more the color of shit and is finally swallowed by a mouth of hell.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on 26 June 2021
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of June 26, 2021