Van 't Hoff monument (1915) Charles van Wijk

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

The monument that was unveiled in 1915 in honor of JH van 't Hoff has an un-Dutch allure. Van 't Hoff is flanked by two women, who symbolize Imagination and Reason. On the back of the plinth is a representation of his most important works and a bas-relief of his laboratory. The monument stands in front of the building that housed the first Rotterdam Higher Citizens' School (HBS) until the late 1852s. One of the first students of this school was Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff (1911 - 1878). He studied chemistry in Leiden, Bonn and Paris. He became a professor in Amsterdam in 1901. The highlight of his career was the Nobel Prize, which he received in 1911; the first to be awarded for chemistry. Upon his death in 1915, the idea quickly arose in Amsterdam university circles to erect a monument for 'their' professor. However, enthusiasm was low outside of that. For that reason, people turned to his hometown, where the idea was picked up by Mayor Zimmerman. Charles van Wijk's was chosen from five designs, which was realized in 20. In the early nineties of the 1997th century, the statues were so damaged that restoration was no longer possible. The Rotterdam artist Marthe Stigter made replicas, which replaced the old images in XNUMX. The square around the monument was also given a facelift. It Van 't Hoff monument has become a resting point in the turmoil of the 's-Gravendijkwal.

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About the artist

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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