Achilles (1972) Willem Verbon
The nursing home care 'Arkopolis' of the Humanitas foundation, a social organization that takes care of the elderly, is located on Achillesstraat in Schiebroek. In the park at the entrance is the bronze plastic Achilles made by the Rotterdam artist Willem Verbon. The work was made in the percentage scheme for the construction of the care institution in 1972. Verbon has made many works in his realistic style, several of them commissioned or on his own initiative for the public space of Rotterdam. Achilles is an important hero in the Trojan War in Greek mythology and the main character in the book Iliad from Homer. He describes Achilles as the fairest, bravest, strongest, and loftiest of all heroes.
Willem Verbon (Rotterdam, 1921 – there, 2003) took classes at the evening academy in the 1930s. Immediately after the Second World War, Verbon was commissioned to make a monument in honor of the Royal Air Force. He got one postgraduate scholarship offered by the British government and left for London for several years. In the early 1950s, Verbon returned to Rotterdam, where he moved into a studio in Oranjeboomstraat. His work mainly consists of figurative sculptures, usually representing historical figures. Verbon sculpted various statues and monuments for important Rotterdam residents and members of the Royal Family. Many of his works of art can be found in the public space of Rotterdam.