Meisje met fluit
brons / baksteen
h. 175 cm
Wingerdstraat, Den Haag
52.074005196531, 4.2598498782585 View on map
Once, a kindergarten girl sat cross-legged on the column in the middle of the Wingerdstraat garden. The terracotta garden statue stood there from 1947 to about 1974. Then it was destroyed by vandals to such an extent that it could not be restored. Sculptor Jos van Riemsdijk was prepared to make a new statue. She again designed a girl, but now in puberty and playing a flute. The bronze statue was placed in 1977.
Like the toddler, 'Girl with flute' expresses a great love for children. The girl is sitting relaxed, unaware of anything or anyone, playing the flute. She is wearing a loose-fitting dress that is trimmed at the neck with a collar. Bare feet protrude playfully from under the dress. What makes the girl so endearing, and what Van Riemsdijk has depicted so strikingly, is that she is still a child on the threshold to adulthood. Witness her other sculptures from The Hague, where Van Riemsdijk was often inspired by teenage girls.
She herself said in 1995: 'I am only inspired by people and animals. I can make an infinite number of sculptures from one cockerel'. Perhaps she had her amusing scratching cock in the Westbroek Park in mind. But she also chose babies, nuns and old people as subjects. Her main interest was in capturing all kinds of typical situations, poses and activities, such as brushing her hair, reading a book or making a jump. The Eindhovens Dagblad wrote about Van Riemsdijk in 1979 that she did not focus on her own emotion, but on that of the subject. Her naturalistic bronze in Wingerdstraat shows that she observed with razor-sharp precision and captured a blissful moment of relaxation and uninhibitedness in forms.