Artwork Data


Eline Vere


Thom Puckey






300 cm

Partial collection


Artwork Location


Open Opslag De Beeldengalerij Zuiderpark, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.057240069537, 4.2904770910797 View on map

To be found on route

Around Zuiderpark

Artwork Description


We cannot see her face from the street. Sitting on her own legs, one arm crossed over her chest, the young woman melancholy and at the same time mysteriously casts her gaze towards heaven. It turns out to be a contemporary version of Eline Vere: the tragic protagonist of the eponymous novel by the famous 19th-century Hague writer Louis Couperus (1863-1923).
This sculpture for the Sculpture Gallery was made by Thom Puckey. This British-born sculptor has lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1978 and has a diverse oeuvre of performances (Reindeer Work), abstract sculptures and figurative sculptures to his name. Puckey was explicitly commissioned by P. Struycken, initiator of the Sculpture Gallery, to depict a hero from The Hague. Contemporary people such as pop singers were considered, but Puckey chose a hero from a different era. He wanted to depict the death scene in which the beautiful Eline, in a fit of madness, takes too much soporific (morphine) and falls asleep for good. In Eline Vere, as in many of his other works, beauty and destruction, vulnerability and aggression are closely linked.

Puckey placed a model with an oval face, exactly as he imagined it in Eline Vere, on an oval plate on top of an old-fashioned sculptor's buck. The trestle is Puckey's answer to Struycken's compelling 'pedestal plan'. The 'tool' now forms a gradual transition between plinth and sculpture.
At the same time, the open, abstract form of the billy goat recalls Puckey's abstract sculptures from the second half of the 1980s. The precise detailing recalls the more recent and controversial white marble sculptures of female nudes with pistols and knives. As with Eline Vere, in these figurative sculptures Puckey works like a nineteenth-century sculptor: to reality, with an eye for classical poses and a perfect finish.

Currently, this statue is stationed in the Zuiderpark.