In 1956, five years after Karel Appel had painted the walls of the museum’s “refreshment room,” he received a new commission from director Sandberg: to paint a wall in the former restaurant. Appel’s response took the form of a colorful painting of three figures dancing across the wall: a crested bird, a person and a flower. The composition was designed to complement the wall and the surrounding space, which included two doors, a walkway and seats for visitors to the then new restaurant. Appel’s painting did not fit onto this wall in its entirety, so he extended his work around the corner on the right. Some elements of the wall have changed as a result of renovations, but this cheerful and monumental mural has lost none of its impact. The blue door remains part of the whole. One unusual element is the colored-glass oval window made using the new appliqué technique, which allowed daylight to shine directly through it. Appel not only sought new forms of expression, but also employed and combined new techniques.
© Karel Appel Foundation, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Translated title

Mural Former Restaurant Stedelijk Museum



Production date



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157 x 1047 x 190cm.


mineral paint, glass applique

Object number

A 38084


schenking Theo van Gogh Stichting, Amsterdam / Gift of the Theo van Gogh Foundation, Amsterdam

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