h. 136 cm
Vrijstaathof, Den Haag
52.061880586398, 4.2925666859833 View on map
Casual, dreamy, lovely. Exactly like eight-year-old girls can be. This is how sculptor Frits Stapel captured his 'Girl' in bronze. She stands on the Vrijstaathof with her hands deep in her pockets. Rubber boots on her feet and her stiff legs bent backwards slightly. During the unveiling of the statue by Alderman Van Lier of Art Affairs in November 1981, Stapel explained that, when he received the commission for a sculpture from the Municipality of The Hague, he decided to enlarge an already existing sculpture of his granddaughter.
The Municipality of The Hague owns several portraits by Stapel, but 'Girl' is the only outdoor sculpture by the sculptor in the city. Stapel mainly made small sculptures and portraits of adults and children in a naturalistic style and of a consistently high quality. He ignored the innovative trends in sculpture. He stuck to his own style, in which he tried to depict a person true to nature. Not in such a way that he reproduced every hair in the hairdo, every fold in the fabric or every vein on the skin with great precision. For him, these matters were secondary to his aim of giving expression to the person portrayed's inner self and qualities.
Not by details, therefore, but by a pose, an activity, an action, he gave his pictures character. As 'Girl' shows, these do not have to be complicated poses. She stands relaxed in an uncomplicated pose, yet the sculpture tells us that she is somewhat shy, somewhat timid.
In 1974, his artistic and technical excellence was rewarded. Stapel won the Jacob Hartog Prize for sculpture from the Hague-based artists' association Pulchri Studio. He received his prize, a sum of money, for the bronze girl's head 'Anouk'.