Untitled (1953) Nel Klaassen

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

This former shop of the firm Martens has two ceramic facade strips by the hand of artist Nel Klaassen. It is an abstract garland, the ends of which arise from shapes derived from the cornucopia (top right and bottom left). The tile panel is very decorative in nature and therefore has no autonomous quality. The facade decoration at Hoogstraat 200 (Peek & Cloppenburg shopping building) is also designed by her.
After 1950, Rotterdam also gained numerous facade decorations with numerous new buildings. Banks were built on Blaak and Coolsingel, such as the former Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij at Blaak 34 and the former Incasso-Bank at Blaak 40. These two buildings also have decorations by Klaassen, but these bank decorations mainly depict many gods, nymphs. and farmers; decorations referring to banking. In contrast to the bank buildings, the buildings on Hoogstraat have a different purpose. As a result, the facade decorations on these buildings form a less important group in terms of content. They mainly depict fertility and floral motifs, such as these two façade strips by Klaassen.


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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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