Untitled (1941) Jaap Gidding

photo Max Dereta
About the artwork

The Maastunnel is the oldest immersed tunnel in the Netherlands. Construction started in 1937 and the tunnel was completed in 1942. On the left and right banks of the Maas there is a ventilation building and associated access building for cyclists and pedestrians, designed by Ad van der Steur. He was the municipal architect of Rotterdam in the 2006s. A special feature of these buildings is the facade mosaic above the wooden escalators by artist Jaap Gidding. The mosaics playfully depict the function of the tunnel. At the bottom you see cars, cyclists and pedestrians, in the middle a circle of waves with fish (the tunnel in the water), above them ships and boats and at the very top the birds in the sky. The mosaic on the north side shows two Neptune figures, the mosaic on the south side shows two mermaids. In 2012 the entrance buildings, including mosaics, were restored to their former glory. In XNUMX the Maastunnel was declared a national monument.

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About the artist

Designer Jaap Gidding (Rotterdam, 1887 - Rotterdam, 1955) was one of the most versatile Dutch designers of the first half of the 20th century. He was trained in Rotterdam in the painting company of his father Jan Gidding, where Willem de Kooning also started his career. Gidding continued to teach in Munich and Berlin. He designed, among other things, wall and ceiling paintings, mosaics, fabrics, wallpaper, glass, ceramics, stained-glass windows and interiors of many cinemas. But most famous are his carpet designs, especially the colorful carpet in the hall of the Tuschinski theater in Amsterdam. For Rotterdam, Gidding made the mosaic of the GJ de Jongh monument and the mosaics on both sides above the escalators of the Maastunnel for cyclists.

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