Wilhelmina (1968) Charlotte van Pallandt

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

The initiative for this monument to Queen Wilhelmina (who died on November 28 1962) came from the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. KP van der Mandele, in 1965. The business community and the people of Rotterdam raised the money for the assignment. Van Pallandt received this assignment with the request to portray Wilhelmina as the queen of the resistance: willful and unyielding. The image expresses the steadfastness and determination with which Wilhelmina led the Dutch government in exile in London during the war years 1940 - 1945. In Winston Churchill's words:There is only one man, and that is Queen Wilhelmina". In the post-war period, Wilhelmina was very interested in the badly hit Maasstad, which she granted the "Stronger through Battle" weapon saying. Her last official act in the city was the unveiling of the war memorial of Mari Andriessen on the Town Hall Square on 4 in May 1957. On that occasion she was photographed standing in her long coat, looking up at Andriessen's sculpture group. Her attitude to this photo in the newspaper inspired Van Pallandt to create this monumental statue of the princess. The detailing of the face is missing. Van Pallandt experimented with it, but the result was not entirely in accordance with the wishes of Queen Juliana. At the beginning of 1966, she nevertheless approved it, after which she unveiled the three-meter high statue of her mother on 4 in May 1968. The statue is used to the river, a view for which Queen Wilhelmina had a special preference. Originally the intention was to cast the statue in bronze, but it was executed in freestone to emphasize the massive and the unyielding. The stone has been left rough on the entire surface. Several copies of this monument have since been made, something that Van Pallandt generally did not approve of. But according to the artist, there should be no restriction for a statue of the Queen. For example, there is a bronze casting in The Hague opposite Noordeinde Palace. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam

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About the artist

Charlotte van Pallandt (Arnhem, 1898 - Noordwijk, 1997) was a well-traveled artist who saw much of Europe in the Interbellum. Together with, for example, Mari Andriesse and Kees Verwey, she is one of the classic Dutch artists of the last century. Known are her portraits of Juliana and her image of Wilhelmina. As a Baroness, Van Pallandt was able to get close to the highest circles. Influences of constructivism and cubism can be found in her work, but most of all she developed an expressionist style in which she continued to work, even when other 'isms' followed one another. By continuing to concentrate on that one style, she is not an innovator, but a virtuoso. Her work revolves around lines, forms, light and dark, and the expression of an attitude and character - combinations of figurative and abstract expression. "The encounter of a character is perhaps the essence of her artistry," says Van Embden in one of the many publications about Van Pallandt ('Wilhelmina Monumentaal', 1987).

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