Untitled (1950) Nel Klaassen

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

In 1950 the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij opened a bank on the Blaak, located between the Twentsche Bank and the Incasso-Bank. The building was co-designed by the Rotterdam architect Chris Elffers, who was simultaneously working on the design for the Rotterdam office of the National Life Insurance Bank on the Schiekade. The bank building, together with the adjacent bank buildings Blaak 28 and Blaak 40, is one of the first buildings to be built after the war. In 2010 the building was given the status of a national monument and is no longer a bank building, but the main entrance is still unchanged. The decorations at the entrance were made by sculptor Nel Klaassen. At street level, in the steps of the stairs is a bronze plate relief with Mercury and Fortuna as gods of trade, fortune and well-being. In the center is the emblem of the Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij with the year 1824, the year in which King William I founded the bank. On the hanging canopy above are two bronze sculptures with two figures on each corner resembling mermaids.

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About the artist

Nel Klaassen (Arnhem, 1906 - Heemstede, 1989) was a monumental sculptor, painter, draftsman and maker of mosaics. She was a student of Jan Bronner at the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 1932 she received the Prix de Rome for monumental and ornamental sculpture. She produced an inauguration medal for Queen Juliana. Together with other artists she was also responsible for interior decorations of various passenger ships in Rotterdam.

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