Paleokunstenaar Alfons Kennis met kopieën van reconstructies bij De week van Gelderland.

The Arnhem twin brothers gained worldwide fame with the Neanderthal Craigin

Paleo artist Alphonse Kines with copies of reconstructions at De Wyck van Gelderland. © Omrup Gelderland

ARNHEM – Arnhem’s twin brothers Alphonse and Adre Kines recently made the news because they gave the first Dutch Neanderthals a face with a cast. “We were unable to do anything in school, we weren’t good at language or math,” Adri tells De Week van Gelderland. “But we were good with pictures and drawing, so we started working on that.”

This started in high school. Alphonse: “We didn’t read much, but we were interested in biology and anatomy. So we read about it and immersed ourselves in it.”

“It was sometimes very practical,” Adri says. “Then we bike home from school. Then you find a dead cat on the way, for example. We’ll take it with us. At home, the head was cut off and we boiled the skull. And we studied that.”

paleo artists

Eventually, the work moved increasingly toward palaeontology, the science that studies the remains of fossils or living things and uses them to reconstruct the geological reconstruction of life on Earth — and its evolution. With the Kennes brothers, she eventually specialized in reconstructing the faces and bodies of humans or their ancestors. They are seen as paleo artists.

“Painter Jan Gotti from Arnhem saw our work and introduced us to scholars in Amsterdam,” says Adri. “Eventually we also went to conferences,” adds Alphonse. “We also received material there from the scientists we met there and started working with it.”

In the end, they reconstructed many hominins that are thousands of years old. For example Ötzi’s glacial mummy and now from the first Dutch Neanderthals, called Krijn. The work is highly valued in science around the world. It’s not for nothing that the two brothers have appeared several times in National Geographic. In 2014 and 2015 they were awarded the leading international Lanzendorf PaleoArt for their work.

The Dane is thousands of years old

After the successful reconstruction of Krijn, the brothers did not sit still. They have now progressed well again with Tollund, a millennia-old man from Denmark. And the goal in their work is always the same. Adri: “We want our creations to be real with nature, vibrant and amazing. We don’t mention that our reconstructions show exactly what a man or a woman looked like at a particular time, but we want to get as close to reality as possible, the latest scientific ideas ” .

Watch the conversation with the Kines brothers at De Week van Gelderland:

Dutch Neanderthal Reconstruction Gives Arnhem Brothers International Fame

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