For most people, Peter was best known as Peter R. the crime reporter.
The journalist who did his job fearlessly, tenaciously, decisively and in his "own way. Respected by some and reviled by others. After the attack, it became clear to many that Peter was much more than that. That he also stood up 'behind the cameras' for minorities and victims, people who were at their wit's end and could not be heard by institutions. He answered literally every letter, every e-mail, every cry for help. If he saw that abuses and unsolved cases were not being dealt with (properly), he would take action. Letting go was not an option.
He has done so much, lived so intensely, stuck his neck out so often, helped so many people, from a push to life changing moments. And to me.... For me, he was my rock and the wonderful father of our children and my indispensable soulmate.
In early 2022, the need to paint him grew.
Important to me was that I wanted to paint him as I remember him; loving, proud and curious, in the midst of his great legacy........ his great legacy.
I have represented his legacy with countless newspaper articles. I started by processing his original birth newspapers: the Telegraaf (his first employer), De Volkskrant and the Algemeen Handelsblad (NRC) of November 14, 1956. I ended with De Telegraaf, from the day we had to say goodbye to him in Carré, Amsterdam on July 22, 2021. This marks the era in which he lived.
Then I processed many newspaper articles reflecting his career as a crime reporter, writer and confidant of victims. I also processed many kind letters and reactions from concerned citizens, which had been deposited at the sea of flowers in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat and at Carré. It was comforting and heartwarming how the Netherlands responded en masse.
Peter was regularly the watchdog over police and judiciary
His great sense of justice was his main driving force; to highlight this side of him, I also incorporated parts of the Penal Code into his portrait.
Of course, his humor and versatility are also reflected in the painting. I lovingly created it for our wonderful children Kelly and Royce.
The painting remains in the family but is on display at Museum Beeld en Geluid in The Hague a beautiful place where everyone can see it. Painting Peter's portrait was a beautiful and healing process for me. It is Peter as I will always remember him.
Jacqueline de Vries-Schuitenmaker