News (2008)

VProgress on the Panorama

The screen-filling Panorama visible on the page with the main menu covers the Panorama up to and including 2003. On this page you can view the additions in 2008.

Work done in the spring of 2008:

This spring I painted: the pigs at the Tolhuis (Customs House) in Oegstgeest, the bottom part of the canvas depicting the Oude Toren (Old Tower) in Warmond, the canvas with the Kagerplassen (the Kaag Lakes), the canvas with the mill at Voorhout and the canvas with the little Green Church in Oegstgeest.

I have also made some additions to the other canvasses.


• I need to go to the toilet

A confused elderly visitor is walking around in a rather lost manner: he sees me and walks up, saying - almost inaudibly : ‘I really need to go to the toilet, but they're just letting me wander around.’ Later, it turns out that he had managed to escape his carer's attention. I call a volunteer and ask him if he could escort the gentleman to the toilet. I see him a little later as he continues his walk, looking very relieved.

• Pram

Two ladies who must be well over seventy remark: ‘We're looking for a pram!’ I can't help myself and blurt out: ‘Why, are you expecting?’ Luckily, they don't take it the wrong way and I can show them the pram on the Panorama. They thank me, and while I walk away, I wish them all the best for the new arrival.

• Albert Heijn

A visitor, pointing to my self-portrait in a black suit on the Panorama, asks, ‘Is that Albert Heijn, the founder of the supermarket chain?’
Astonished, I answer: ‘no, that's me!’ He replies, ‘Well, he looks just like Albert Heijn!’ ‘No. It really is me!’ His wife laughs incredulously and says ‘But I read somewhere that you're sponsored by Albert Heijn?’ I realise what's causing the confusion and reply, ‘No, if you save up stamps from Albert Heijn, you'll receive a discount on the entrance fee.’ ‘Oh!’

• No crime goes unpunished

A young lady is completely enraptured by my Panorama, and stands behind me, watching me work for at least an hour and a half. Sometimes I chat a little to her. At a certain moment, I want a break; I leave my stool and walk towards her. To my amazement, I notice that she's covered with black spots: on her cheeks, on her forehead, on her neck, on her coat and on her arms and hands. I point them out to her, and it emerges that, at a certain point, I have thrown an empty tube of paint on the floor (a typical habit of mine) which she has picked up to take home as a souvenir. But she hadn't realised that there was paint all over it and now it's all over her. I smile and say, ‘No crime goes unpunished’ and offer to help remove the paint with benzene. To their great amusement, the visitors see me a little later, attempting to clean up the lady's appearance. Nonetheless, I can't get rid of the spot on her coat.

• Cycled 57 km to see the Panorama

I am leaving for home at 5 p.m. At the bike shed, I run into a lady of pensionable age waiting by her bike. She approaches me and reveals that she has cycled 57 km, all the way from Maasland. I'm very surprised, and say as much. After a few minutes, she remarks: ‘I have to go now, I have to cycle 57 km all the way back again.’ I wish her a safe journey home and, watching her cycle off, I realise that she must care a great deal about seeing my Panorama!

• Smell

Ascension Day. A visitor walks in, and says to his companions: ‘This can't be it!’ I ask whether he's disappointed in the Panorama. ‘Well, I had expected that there'd be more flowers!’ ‘Just look and see how many flowers I've included in my Panorama!’ ‘ Yes, but you can't smell those!’ ‘Well, you'll just have to put your nose in that tub of hyacinths then!’ I retort.

Special encounters

• Sportsmanlike Smitsloo

Mr M. Smitsloo, the property developer and his wife, who had arrived by bike as it was lovely weather, are portrayed under the Tolhuis (Customs House) in Warmond, which houses Mr Smitsloo's offices.

• Ambachtsheer (justice of the peace) Coster

Voorhout's ambachtsheer (justice of the peace) Mr H.J. Coster van Voorhout and his wife congratulate the artist on his royal honour.

• Portrait painter Halewijn

The brilliant portrait painter William Halewijn and his wife also congratulate Leo van den Ende.

Contributions by visitors

• Storm cloud

I have painted a black storm cloud behind the church steeple in Warmond, and I've had a great many comments on it. The visitors always ask whether the steeple is on fire. I held a survey among the visitors: should I paint out the cloud behind the tower or leave it as it is? Opinion is divided on the matter: some people are all for removing the cloud, others want it to remain the way it is. I have decided to leave it, because now we have an additional focal point for the viewers to discuss at great length.

• Cows

I received a letter from Noordwijk which stated that there are only Friese Holsteiner cattle on the Panorama, but that, until the sixties of the last century, eighty per cent of the cows that graced the meadows of the Flower Bulb District were of the "blaarkop" variety. The letter concludes with a friendly request to include the blaarkop in the Panorama. I think it's a wonderful idea and have replaced the sheep that I had sketched in the design for Warmond by "blaarkoppen."
I was just painting a "blaarkop" when a farmer paid me a visit. He informed me that "blaarkoppen" sometimes had extra teats, i.e. they had more than four teats, which did not function and were sometimes removed. A kind of deformity. I immediately added a fifth teat. He returned a little later and told me that the horns never used to be removed and so there really should be horns on the cattle. So of course I added those too!

• Windmill

Cor, one of our volunteers, came to see me one morning and announced shyly that he heard something the day before. It had been my day off, and a miller had called round and revealed that the cap of the mill ‘De hoop doet leven’ (If it were not for hope, the heart would break) was loose as there were no chains attached to the tail-pole. He was right, of course ñ I had forgotten them. I checked it on the slide and was shocked to notice that I had also got the axel of the tail-wheel wrong. I had painted it standing horizontally, but it should be slightly vertical, so I have altered it.

Special events

• Leo's last metres

In my lunch break I popped over to the roundabout near ‘Het Soldaatje’ in Voorhout, where they have put up a life-size picture of me. The caption reads: ‘Leo's last metres’ and there is a reference to Panorama TulipLand. I thought it was very special and took a photograph. The cars driving past saw me take a picture of myself and honked their horns.

• The Panorama at the Eiffel Tower

I was sent a photograph of a box of flyers at the Eiffel Tower, and there were brochures for Panorama TulipLand in it. How on earth did they get there?

• My wife

In gratitude for the years we could have spent together but were spent painting my Panorama, I have portrayed my wife next to the woman cleaning the windows at the ruins of Teylingen.

• Flowers to boot

A work boot was delivered towards the end of the afternoon, with a beautifully arranged flower arrangement and a card that said: ‘You deserve a bunch of flowers’ and on the back it said, ‘The last mile is the longest one’. The card was signed by the local cobbler. How very kind!

• Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau

The work on the Panorama began on 22 March 1997 and was finished by Leo Van Den Ende on 22 May 2008 when he put his signature on the last canvas. After this, he was invested as a Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau by Her Majesty the Queen for completing the second Panorama in the Netherlands.
The photograph shows the Mayor of Teylingen, Mr S. Schelberg, the artist's wife, Marly van den Ende and the artist.

• Veggies

In the ninth week, there was a delegation from the Westland and I was given a basket of vegetables and for my wife, the largest bunch of flowers I have ever seen in my life in gratitude for the creation of the Panorama. That is just so lovely!

• Busy season

As you can see, it has been a particularly busy season!