Mercury (1920) Bon Ingen Housz
On the occasion of the official opening of the town hall on Coolsingel in 1920, three monuments were given a place in the inner garden, including this statue of Mercury. It is a squat figure with a caduceus in its right hand: a staff, around which two snakes are wound. This symbolizes peace, protection and healing and had to allow the courier or negotiator unhindered passage. In Roman mythology he is the god of trade, travelers and profit. The caduceus (staff) symbolizes peace, protection and healing and had to give the courier or negotiator unhindered passage. This work and the image of Neptune on the other side of the garden belong together: mythological figures had a standing that befits the town hall and academy art. Both bronzes were created by sculptor Bon Ingen Housz and thrive in the town hall garden, which was renovated in 1997. They are set in geometrically arranged hedges, on either side of the third monument; a hard stone fountain with a bronze children's group made by Simon Miedema. The Mercury resembles the version with which Ingen Housz won the Prix de Rome in 1908.
Bonaventura or Bon Ingen Housz (Breda, 1881 - there, 1953) came from a banker family from Breda. In Brussels he attended the art academy, after which he won the Prix de Rome in 1908 and was able to make many study trips abroad. Back in the Netherlands he received assignments in The Hague and Rotterdam. He made a statue for the Rotterdam city hall Mercury en Neptune and a bronze decorative vase. The whistling boy at the Schurmann fountain on Parklaan is also his.