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 a Dutch allure. Van 't Hoff is flanked by two women, who symbolize Imagination and Reason. On the back of the base is a representation of his most important works and a bas-relief from his laboratory. The monument stands in front of the building that housed the first Rotterdam Higher Civic School (HBS) until the late 1950s. One of the first students of this school was Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff (1852 - 1911). He studied chemistry in Leiden, Bonn and Paris. He became a professor in Amsterdam at 1878. The highlight of his career was the Nobel Prize, which he received in 1901; the first to be awarded for chemistry. When he died in 1911, Amsterdam university circles soon came up with the idea of ​​setting up a monument for 'their' professor. However, there was little enthusiasm outside. For that reason they turned to his hometown, where the idea was picked up by Mayor Zimmerman. Charles van Wijk selected five designs, which was realized in 1915. In the early nineties of the 20e century the images were so damaged that restoration was no longer possible. The Rotterdam artist Marthe Stigter made replicas that replaced the old images in 1997. The square around the monument was also given a makeover. It Van 't Hoff monument has become a haven in the unrest 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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