Hippopotamus (1970) Robbert Jan F. Donker
Hippos live in the middle and south of Africa and reach the age of forty. The stone hippopotamus on the Afrikaanderplein has also had its best years after more than forty years. Just like with real hippos, his skin appears to be the most vulnerable. Here in Rotterdam not because of danger of dehydration, but because of graffiti and algae. Another ailment is that the image has been stripped of its teeth over the years. Yet you can still see how this cheerful image is adorned by decorative lines in his neck and floral motifs on the back. The eyes are not shown in the stone. The statue is made of sand-lime bricks from France. Incidentally, it was already decided upon delivery in 1970 that the image may perish in its aging process.
Robbert Jan Donker (Amsterdam, 1943 - Rotterdam, 2016) studied from 1960 to 1965 at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. These years made him a 'race Rotterdammer' with a great preference for the Kralingen neighborhood. Sculptor Donker's work is characterized by the creation of human figures, reliefs and especially animal figures in bronze and stone.