Lange Vijverberg, Den Haag
52.080906074982, 4.3125982191513 View on map
In The Hague there lives a count and his son is called Jantje'. Who does not know it, the song about the son of Floris V, the young count Jan I (1284-1299). Artist Ivo Coljé made his effigy in 1976. At the opening of the Nieuw Babylon shopping centre in 1980, the construction group MAB donated a larger version to the city of The Hague. The bronze statue has stood on the shell path at Lange Vijverberg since 1981. With finger and thumb pointing to the other side, to his father's house in the Binnenhof. In the summer of 2014, a natural stone wall was placed at his feet, with explanatory text and images about the buildings on the other side.
Coljé depicted John I as a four- or five-year-old. On his hat is a feather and on his arm is a basket full of mushrooms that he picked in the woods in The Hague. The small, endearing Jan seems to have walked straight out of the poem. The boy did not grow old, by the way. He had poor health and died when he was fifteen. Shortly before that he had lost his father - Floris V was murdered in 1296 by some of his nobles during an attempt to kidnap him to England. With the death of the only child Jan, the Dutch royal family died out in a straight line. The grave title passed to John II, a cousin of John I.
Coljé works in a variety of styles. Figurative, such as the sculpture of Jantje, but also abstract, such as the spatial constructions he exhibited in the winter of 1992/93 at Galerie Maurits van de Laar in The Hague. The exhibition was entitled 'The Bones', referring to the bones cast in cast iron and bronze, enclosed in wire metal tower constructions. In addition, Colje's ceramic work shows an unconstrained design that is very appealing to children.