MARTEN & OOPJEN - WHAT'S IN A NAME?

 

Last week we revisited The Rijks Museum. As a quest I told my kids now to find the chubby boy (the Bicker boy painted by Bartholomeus van der Helst), so that they had something to go for in the museum (and whilst they weren’t actually aware of it, they were forced to look at a lot of other paintings in the meantime). What I had hoped for happened; the chubby boy was hard to find. 

 

But Marten and Oopjen were hard to miss. Next to the Nachtwacht they were proudly presenting themselves. 

 

Two beautiful paintings, I mean really beautiful. Man and woman hanging next to each other. Fitting perfectly with their black and white clothing. The lightning in the black areas and the shadows in the white laced accents were from such a standard only Rembrandt could nail it. And boy he did. But what most surprised me, was that I was struck by the name. No, not Marten. Sorry to all the Martens, it’s a common, not-to-mention name. It was Oopjen.

 

Standing there I realised how cool is it that one, I mean the Rijks, ‘stumbles upon’ two paintings who - besides the most important fact that they are Rembrandts - indeed should belong in the Netherlands. And that these particular paintings were named Marten and Oopjen. I mean Oopjen. For the foreigners among us: even in The Netherlands it is a very uncommon, funny-to-pronounce name. 

 

If Oopjen weren’t Oopjen, but Maria or Sophia, I think those two weren’t appealing that much to my imagination as they did now. I will never forget Oopjen, although I have only seen her for a few minutes. She made me smile.

 

And that is what naming can do. It clings in. Think about that when you’re about to find a striking name for your brand or company. And no, Oopjen is not an option. She is already taken. By Rembrandt & The Rijks and Marten ofcourse...

 

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September 28, 2018

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