Schürmann fountain (1916) Charles van Wijk & Bon Ingen Housz

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

Willem Schürmann (1877-1915) was a Rotterdam writer and published the novel 'De Berkelmans' (1906) and the play 'De Violiers' (1911). Schürmann was popular at a time when culture in Rotterdam was on the back burner. A century ago, the city was mainly under the spell of the explosively growing trade and port. In addition, attention was paid at a modest level to variety shows, (folk) theater and revue. Schürmann's work dovetailed with this little bit of cultural interest. He not only worked as a writer, but was also a tailor, through which he knew the Rotterdam trading world. He was extremely critical about this in the family novel 'De Berkelmans'. A year later he published a family drama with a topical touch about the port of Rotterdam based on the life of Lodewijk Pincoffs, the man who founded the modern port of Rotterdam. After Schürmann's early death, it was decided to erect a memorial. Some wanted it in the Grote Schouwburg because of its service to the stage. But others preferred a grander and more public testimonial. It became a fountain outside the city (just as his publications were about the city). Four columns support a water basin above which was a bronze angel with a Melpomene mask (Melpomene is the muse of tragedy, a reference to the serious side of his writings). The edge lettering mentions the titles of Schürmann's main works: 'De Berkelmans', 'Veertig', 'Mushrooms' and 'De Violiers'. The angel turned out to be susceptible to vandalism and was later replaced by a flute player by sculptor B. Ingen-Housz. It stands on four nozzles, which represent theater masks from the Classical Antiquity.

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About Charles van Wijk

Sculptor Charles van Wijk (The Hague, 1875 - 1917) attended the art academy in The Hague. Among other things, he made the memorial for the Maris brothers in The Hague, the statue of Johan de Witt and the bust for EJ Potgieter. He won many awards. He mainly worked in The Hague, but also in Brussels and Paris for some time.

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About Bon Ingen Housz

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 on the Schürmann fountain on Parklaan is also by his hand.

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