Carel Willink (1900-1983) painted 41 portraits on commission, including this portrait of Pamela Maresch-Boon. It was actually her husband who wanted the portrait to be painted, he was a big fan of Willink’s work. ‘I thought it was all rather creepy. But it wasn’t that bad at all! He was so friendl...y (...) He was truly interested in me, and wanted to know what possessed me to deliberately want to become the mother of five children, as something of a vocation: how that came about, how it worked, the happiness it brought. We talked about everything, what interested him in life, or appalled him’, she explained 15 years later.
Willink chose the background (in this case Easter Island, aka Rapa Nui), the pose and even her clothes. ‘Those fishnet stockings… that’s not something I would normally wear. I had to go to the P.C. Hoofstraat at lunchtime to buy five sets of stockings. He chose the purple ones’, said Ms Maresch-Boon. ‘I had a complex about my hands. I thought they were fat, and a bit bent with rheumatism. […] But he reasoned away my fears. He said: “They are very attractive; I’ll paint exactly what I see, then you’ll see how beautiful they become”. He also chose the position of the hands: one receiving, the other covering. He thought that had character’.