I love this bird. The robin has beautiful colours. Its orange is dazzling. It lives with wife and children (temporary) in our garden. Companions at home. This summer, the family was part of our household. So far from my perspective and my charcoal pencils.

The present news about dictators, autocrats (on all levels) and democratic power houses brings me to another dimension of this bird. It is of course a personal association, in moments becoming a metaphor.

From ecological point of view the robin is relevant in the food chain. Itself it is a fierceless predator of insects and worms. Hm. Defends its territory with all its focus and effort. It does all what is necessary for that.

I recognise this behaviour in the world of power and influence (as Machiavelli described the world of ‘politics’), reading through today’s headlines – in all sizes, forms and capacities.

What helps in my idea, is the fact that the robin (and with all associations attached) is eaten by owls (wisest of all), buzzards (honest birds), hawks (masters of the wood) and falcons (actors of balance). The circle of life is hard but gives hope. I still love this bird.


Kruf, J.P. (2022) Robin [fine art print]. Breda: private collection.