Monument 1872 (1874) Joseph Graven

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

For Dutch standards this is a special statue made by sculptor Joseph Graven. Monument 1872 was unveiled on October 22 1874 and was intended as a central backdrop to the exuberant annual 1 April celebrations. On 1 April 1872, three hundred years after the liberation and capture of Den Briel by the Watergeuzen, the people of Rotterdam celebrated a big party with a procession. Not to be forgotten at this party Monument 1872 established. It tells this rebellion against the Spaniards, making it a kind of national monument. At the top, in the middle, is the Townhouse of natural stone with a spear with freedom hat in hand. At her feet are four little lions on the four corners, each holding a sign, with the arms of Rotterdam and Brielle at the front, and behind it the arms of Willem van Oranje and Holland. On the lower level are four historical figures from the procession of 1 April 1872. In the front left is a medieval gate with license and to the right a Watergeus as a reference to 1572. To the right of it is a craftsman with hammer and cogwheel, as a symbol of industry. And next to that a Batavier with a club. Two swans and two fish spit jets of water into shell-shaped sumps that overflow into the basin of the fountain. "Den Briel relieved of Spain, saved for Orange" reports one of the inscriptions. Monument 1872 belongs to the identity of the city, just like the Wilhelmina fountain and the Sculpture monument on the Noordereiland. Monument 1872 knows many nicknames, such as it Statue of Liberty, The Virgin of Holland en Kate Mossel.

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About the artist

Joseph Graven ('s-Hertogenbosch, 1836 - Rotterdam, 1877) was a Dutch sculptor. He worked successively in Munich, 's-Hertogenbosch (1863 - 1875) and Rotterdam. Among other things, he made sculptures for St John's Cathedral in Den Bosch and wooden sculptures for the Hilversum St Vitus church. For the Piet Heynsplein in Rotterdam, he produced a statue of the sea hero Piet Heyn, which was unveiled by King Willem III on 17 October 1870. The statue is now a national monument.

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