Those who keep something, have something. Fortunately, Marian Gobius had not yet discarded the model of her sandstone sculpture 'Flora' after many years. And that was very convenient. Vandals had destroyed the vulnerable naked girl of sandstone in 1980. A new version of the 1945 sculpture was to be made. To prevent vandals from giving it a second chance, the sculpture was made in durable bronze. Since 1985 'Flora' has been back where it belongs, in the rose garden of the Zuiderpark.
When 'Flora', the Roman goddess of blossoming flowers, spring and field crops, was unveiled, Gobius' sculpture career was already well underway. She had established herself as an independent sculptor in Voorburg in 1934. In the following years she made and sold dozens of sculptures: portraits, garden sculptures, cobblestones and a number of war memorials. In The Hague are several garden sculptures by her, of which 'Flora' is one.
The young goddess is only dressed in a thick garland of flowers. She is lovely and graceful. But Gobius did not leave it at that. She gave 'Flora' something tough too. The nudity, which usually makes one vulnerable, is cancelled out by 'Flora's' heroic appearance. As befits a true goddess. Besides that, the goddess has the human warmth that Gobius put into all her sculptures. All telling in that context is her statement in 'Het Binnenhof' in 1990: 'I want faces with character'. She wanted to penetrate to the soul of the person she portrayed. And she did so in her characteristic naturalistic style. Gobius made no bones about it: abstract art was not for her.