Hugo de Groot (1969) Auke Hettema

BKOR archive
About the artwork

Hugo de Groot (1583 - 1645) was a statesman, lawyer and writer. In 1613 he was appointed as the pensionary of the city of Rotterdam. He prepared the meetings of the mayors and attended state meetings. His predecessor was Van Oldenbarnevelt, which is to the left of the statue of Hugo de Groot. Hugo de Groot was a humanist and very religious. He had to pay for his criticism of the prevailing religious beliefs with imprisonment. De Groot was arrested in 1618, officially because he undermined the religion of the state and spread divisions between the provinces. He served his sentence in Slot Loevestein, where he read and studied a lot. He escaped in 1621 in the bookcase, in which his books were brought. In 1631 he visits Rotterdam and visited the statue of Erasmus. The statue Hugo de Groot is a classical sculpture and is part of an ensemble in combination with the sculpture by Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and by Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp on the stairs of the World Trace Center Rotterdam. In connection with the refurbishment and long-term work on the Coolsingel Hugo de Groot placed in a depot in October 2017. November 2019, the statue was placed in exactly the same place in front of the town hall.

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About the artist

Auke Hettema (Leeuwarden, 1927 - Amsterdam, 2004) studied from 1947, together with his twin brother Renze Hettema, sculpture with, among others, professor Piet Esser at the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Hettema belonged to the generation of Dutch sculptors, who started their career after the Second World War with making war and resistance monuments, such as the resistance monument in the Prinsentuin in Leeuwarden. He was the winner of the Prix de Rome in 1951.

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