Minerva (1939) Gerard Hoppen

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Above the entrance of the former Higher Technical School (HTS) on GJ de Jonghweg hangs a special statue made by sculptor Gerard Hoppen in 1939. He received this commission from the board during the construction of the HTS. It is a plastic of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, of war and of architecture. Recognizable by her armor; her left hand rests on a shield. Minerva turns around, giving that torsion a sense of dynamism, liveliness and volatility. The view from below shows two female figures on which she leans. It's little more than two small details, but they're very nicely designed lasciviously, making them a bit like malevolent Sirens. The whole is on the T of the letters 'HTS'. Hoppen was a very talented sculptor. He often worked with a great expression, which was different with each image; the faces of this work radiate a lot of life.

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About the artist

According to an In Memoriam by sculptor Gerard Hoppen (Rotterdam, 1885 - Rotterdam, 1959) he was the creator of this Minerva image. Hoppen lived on Essenlaan in Rotterdam and studied sculpture at the Rotterdam art academy. From 1912 to 1916 he studied with Bart van Hove at the art academy in Amsterdam. In 1914 he won the Prix de Rome. From 1926 until his death, he taught sculpture at the Rotterdam art academy. His students included Cor van Kralingen, Adri Blok and Hans Petri, among others.

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