Fortuna - A Figurehead Triptych

Dutch artist Maaike Vonk has chosen the “Hunter Figurehead archives” to showcase the resale of her inspirational figurehead triptych artwork “FORTUNA” originally created in 1987 for the restaurant of the De Beer hotel in Europort near Rotterdam. Painted in oils on canvas as three separate works of art that can be display looking inwards towards the front view of the Figurehead, or outwards, depending on how you care to position the three parts, using day and night symbolically, showing Ursa major, and Ursa minor in the top background of the dark sky, Maaike has deliberately kept the style of this piece naïve, reflecting the charm and fascination figureheads have held for generations of sailors and landlubbers alike, figureheads hold a special place in the Worlds rich maritime heritage, with an enduring mystery and allure that transcends time and space, “FORTUNA” is the embodiment of countless thousands of Figureheads that traversed the Worlds great oceans, holding witness to a lost art and tradition. When Maaike began this project she looked at all the surviving Ships Figureheads, in both private and public collections throughout her native Holland,  she was even offered a rare opportunity to visit the reserve collection of carvings hidden away in the attic of the National Scheepvaartsmuseum in  Amsterdam,  but still couldn’t find a female figurehead that matched the idea already in her head,  to solve this problem she crafted a three dimensional clay model, and used this as a reference point for the finished painting together with a number of  preliminary sketches.

This is a rare opportunity to purchase direct from the artist a unique work of art that would fit well into any environment, from private house, corporate office or public space, oil paint on canvas “Fortuna” is 1.40 meters high by 2.10 meters width this work is ready to hang on your wall.

For Maaike the aspect of craftsmanship in her work is very important, and this is reflected in the use of only the best materials, from the finest quality of canvas linen to several layers of oil paint, as far as possible Maaike follows the way of  painting from the early Renaissance painters, with images built up in several layers, each layer of paint has to dry before a new layer can be put on,  allowing each layer to remain visible under the next one, dependant on the result desired this can mount up to 7 layers, these layers are very smooth and thin brushstrokes are seldom visible, except in a single detail like the hair, Maaike follows this traditional  technique in all her artwork  from portraiture to contemporary graphic design, further  details of her work can be found on her web site at  showing the commissions she has been given in the past, plus details on the presentation in 1988 by Queen Beatrix in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam  of the prestigious  free painting award for that year given to aspiring artists in the Netherlands, the photograph below shows Maaike on the  right of her majesty having just received the award.

“Fortuna” is offered for private sale with an asking price of £5,000*

A percentage of this sale will be donated by the artist to continue the work of the “Hunter Figurehead Archives” with a commission of 12%, 6% from the artist and 6% from the buyer on the final sale price.

*(This price does not include packing and shipping this would be at cost and dependent on location and mode of transportation)

Should you require any other details on this artwork please feel free to contact Maaike direct at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   you can see other works by Maaike on her web site at  or the “Hunter Figurehead Archives”

Maaike has a number of artist friends in Holland the work of Gerhard Lentink and Gertjan Evenhuis are particularly inspiring and are worth looking at for the shear beauty of the work. and  I can recommend them both.