Men at Work in The Netherlands

Nijmegen, XI.1998; pict. A. Anselin 1994; pict. G. Coghe
The modern faceless man dominates the country with the low sky. This is definitely not the best country to start with a new collection. And - you won't like this - it happens that this design is exported to other countries (like Belgium)! Tasteless that is, like their G... (cheese) and H... (beer). But we should put at least half of the blame on the receiver, I think.

Germany grows a similar sign. Take note of the small differences in the heap and the lower parts of the body.

  But our spotters are restless and stubborn and sometimes they can fish a nice design out of the greyness. It happened in 1994 and again in 2006 and 2007.

Both finds show remarkable detail and we can discern plenty of differences. The general impression is also different. The 1994-sign shows a real worker, weathered and strong. The other man has a more delicate face. He's wearing a jacket and he's not digging. He's pretending. Probably a foreman posing for the company brochure. (He reminds me of Energy Level 1 of the Belgian workforce.)

1994; pict. G. Coghe Nijkerk, IV.2006; pict. J. Koelstra
  This is even more true for the find from Giethoorn where we are looking at a man in his sunday's clothes. Although I'm not sure that this sign is not enhanced by a passer-by the detail is remarkable. It's probably the earliest Dutch design found yet. And the best.
The artist still knew how to draw a shovel. He still made a difference between clothing and bodyparts: hands and feet with shoes are present. The knee, however, is drawn slightly too low in my opinion.
Giethoorn, VII.2007; pict. B. Hoeyberghs
Notice also that a foot is placed higher than the other at the base of the heap. Contrary to other designs with feet (e.g. Spain, Switzerland) the forward foot is flat on the ground. Another reason to think that the man is pretending, or showing to his grandchildren what's his business on weekdays.

Path: Home / Country list / Men at work in depth / Men at work in the Netherlands  e-mail:  
More signs from the Netherlands: Children crossing