In 1951, Karel Appel was commissioned to “paint a small refreshment room” beside the Stedelijk Museum’s great hall. The intention was to compensate for what had happened to his mural Vragende kinderen in the canteen of Amsterdam’s town hall (now the Grand Hotel), which was quickly covered up because it did not appeal to the tastes of the officials. The Stedelijk’s collection contains eight studies on paper for this refreshment room, which soon became known as the “Appelbar.” These consist of four studies for the walls, two for the ceiling and two for a screen installed behind the bar. Not all of the studies were carried out exactly as on paper, as is the case with this gouache, which most closely resembles the figure at the back on the left wall of the Appelbar. The composition is made up of bright areas of color and black lines. A figure can be seen in the work, with two circles forming the eyes and a pale-blue hand with three dark-blue nails at bottom right. The Appelbar is still in the same place, but is no longer used as a refreshment room.
© Karel Appel Foundation, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Translated title

Untitled [Study for Foyer ('Appel Bar') in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam]



Production date



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63.2 x 49.8cm.


gouache on pencil on paper

Object number

A 3386