Image Project: Marcel van Eeden

The Cornelia Maersk

Van Eeden’s new work takes the 1942 sinking of the ship Cornelia Maersk in the North Sea on the site of Maasvlakte 2 as its starting point. Van Eeden has created a visual story based on archival photos, some from the shipping company in Copenhagen. The grisly legend, drawn in black and white, blends facts with fiction and photography with drawing. A book of the same name will accompany the series.

Marcel van Eeden is internationally renowned for his narrative series of drawings and paintings based on photos taken before he was born. Much of his work consists of visual stories, in which he blends historic fact and fiction. The same characters reappear in different circumstances. The stories can therefore be ‘read’ in their own right or as part of Van Eeden’s entire oeuvre. Van Eeden draws in a very recognizable, rather grim, black and white style.

Marcel van Eeden: 'The Maasvlakte 2 area has virtually no history, it is like a blank slate. For me, that gives it an extra dimension. I take the sinking of the Cornelia Maersk in 1942 as the starting point to a story and give the area its own history or legend.'

The artist conducted historic research and found photos of the Cornelia Maersk at the headquarters of the shipping company in Copenhagen. Since Marcel van Eeden does thorough fieldwork prior to making a new series of drawings, it is unclear to the viewer where facts end and fiction begins.


Marcel van Eeden (The Hague, 1965) studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. He lives and works in The Hague and Zurich and has exhibitions around the world.