Baruch de Spinoza
brons op rood granieten sokkel
h 165 cm
Paviljoensgracht, Den Haag
52.0733420084156, 4.31351568987643 View on map
Sitting, recessed in thought, the right hand with pencil by the head leaning slightly forward, in the left hand a few sheets of paper. With this classical pose for an intellectual, the French sculptor Frédéric Hexamer shot in the rose in front of the statue of the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza. He won the international competition for sculptors in 1875 and was allowed to work. And this while the specially formed committee had been quite critical. In an earlier submission round, all sixteen submitted designs were rejected.
The idea for the establishment of a tribute to the world-famous philosopher came from J. van Vloten. In his monograph on Spinoza (1871) he pleaded for a statue. Almost ten years later, the organizing committee reported that the placement of the statue was imminent for Spinoza. Numerous negative reactions followed. In some circles the 'modern' views of the philosopher were seen as blasphemous. Nevertheless, a lot of money flowed in for the bronze statue. So much that a precious pedestal could also be made of polished red granite. In 1880 the statue was unveiled near the philosopher's house in The Hague.
Spinoza left Amsterdam for The Hague in 1661. In the course of the fifties of the 17th century he increasingly openly criticized the dogmas of his faith and was expelled from the Jewish community. Spinoza lived successively in Rijnsburg, Voorburg and The Hague. His house in Rijnsburg is now the Spinoza Museum. In his house in The Hague at Paviljoensgracht 72-74 he completed his famous 'Ethica'. In this house, also the house in which he died, is now the 'Vereniging het Spinozahuis' located. Opposite it, since 1957, is the statue of the philosopher in the central reservation. The tomb of Spinoza is located near the Nieuwe Kerk.