Untitled (1947) Adriaan van der Plas

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

In 1939, construction of the Central Tax Office was started on Puntegaalstraat (this street is therefore popularly referred to as Pluk-me-kaalstraat). Due to the war and the scarcity of material after the war, the Rijksgebouw could not be used until 1949. The Rotterdam sculptor Adriaan van der Plas was commissioned by the Government Buildings Agency to make a number of sculptures for the building. At the very top of the facade is the coat of arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: the national coat of arms consisting of a checkered shield with a lion, sword and arrows. Below it is the motto 'Je Maintiendrai'. The composition of the limestone relief is traditional. The work is large, unwieldy and massive, giving it a classical grandeur. The ornaments in this form perfectly meet the assignment for a tax building and Van der Plas shows great craftsmanship with this. There are two other smaller works on either side of the entrance, so-called crownings on the east and west facades. Each work is placed above a round window and consists of three coats of arms. For example, the coats of arms of Rotterdam and South Holland are depicted. One work contains the text 'Anno Domini 1947'. The building was designated a national monument in 2002.

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About the artist

Adriaan van der Plas (Rotterdam, 1899 - Kerkrade, 1974) specialized in religious art and design. He studied at the Rotterdam art academy. Van der Plas received a bronze medal for nude figure drawing and he received three Royal Grants. From 1921 to 1923 he made study trips through Europe and then settled permanently in Rotterdam. He drew delicately and with care, made prints and paintings, including murals for De Doelen in 1935, a Way of the Cross in front of St. Bavo in Heemstede. In 1940 he made the mural 'Viribus Unitis' for the Jungerhans family's emergency shop on Mathenesserlaan.

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