brons / steenachtig
Machiel Vrijenhoeklaan, Den Haag
52.068738193929, 4.2313476727432 View on map
I once modelled a sculpture of a ship with a lady just for fun. Now there's a commission for Kijkduin and I think: Ah, there by the sea, why not put that lady with the ship there and she comes from Westland, so I'll hang a few grapes at the top too', sculptor Bram Roth said in 1981 about the sculpture 'Flora'. That says everything about the motivation behind this work that he had made more than ten years earlier.
Flora, the goddess of blossoming flowers and crops, also known as the goddess of spring, is usually depicted with flowers. According to myth, Flora was in love with Zephyr, the god of the western spring wind. Wherever she followed him, she scattered flowers. There is a well-known portrait by Rembrandt in which his wife Saskia, adorned with flowers, depicts the spring goddess. This is how Flora was always depicted. The combination with grape vines had never been seen before.
In the 1950s, Bram Roth worked together with Dirk Bus and Gerard van Remmen on reliefs for the former town hall on Burgemeester De Monchyplein. It seems that Roth based himself on the work of his colleague Van Remmen. On the latter relief, Flora stands between Athena and Pomona, the goddess of fruit, surrounded by vines. In fact, the name does not really matter. In any case, according to his quotation, it was not important to the artist.
When he died in 1995, Pulchri, the magazine of the artists' association of the same name, devoted a large article to former member and director Bram Roth. Flora is not mentioned in it, but there is 'an elegant Westland Lady, perched on a fragile boat with bunches of grapes'. The writer has wisely avoided the confusion.