(text: Hans Theys) Wednesday, October 11th 2017. I find myself in one of the studios of Tim Volckaert (1979), who is finishing three large vertical paintings based upon portrait paintings from the renaissance in which the portrayed people are depicted in an interior with a window that offers a view of a landscape. In Volckaert’s adaptations the portrayed people seem to fuse with the backdrop. They have become phantoms or giant mushrooms or stains that are simultaneously crusty and glazed. Looking at the original portrait paintings (from which, according to Dirk De Vos, autonomous painting originated), we have the impression that the mysterious, sensual approach to the female models was a secret way of preserving the mysticism and fusional world of medieval times by intertwining them with the clandestine pleasure of painting. Embedded in colour, rhythm and matter, they were taken beyond the reach of reason to be saved. Today the beautiful enamel, the enchanting colours and the unusual approach of the figures seem to prolong this secret, alchemistic tradition.