Artwork Data


Monument mr. Hendrik Coenraad Dresselhuys


Arend Odé




steen en brons


h 277 cm

Artwork Location


Carnegielaan, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.0871465579929, 4.2932790401707 View on map

Artwork Description


Motorists drive past it; walkers might pause to consider the poems on the memorial to Hendrik Dresselhuys (1870-1926). The monument stands somewhat inconspicuously in the greenery along Carnegielaan opposite Rustenburgweg, on the edge of the garden of the Peace Palace. And it is precisely here that it is appropriate to honour this great advocate of the peaceful resolution of international conflicts. Dresselhuys was a warm advocate of the League of Nations, the later United Nations, and the first chairman of the liberal state party 'de Vrijheidsbond' (the Liberal Union), the predecessor of the VVD. A monument to him was erected five years after his death in 1926.
Sculptor Arend Odé made the memorial. He adhered to the academic principles of the 19th century and worked in a less experimental, yet highly skilled manner. Despite a choice of sculptors who had broken new ground, the committees for commissioning monuments and statues preferred more traditional sculptors, such as Odé.
Yet it would be an understatement to label Odé's work as 'old-fashioned'. The monument to Dresselhuys is unquestionably contemporary. The strict symmetrical construction, the very similar bronze portrait medallion and the stylised design of the two female figures with poems, are typical of the 1930s. The strong relationship between word and image is also characteristic of that time. For instance, the figure on the right is wearing broken chains as a symbol of freedom. This notion is central to the accompanying poem. The figure on the left has a palm branch in his hand as a sign of peace, the theme of the poem on the right.

Bringing peace to arms
or labour peace means
reconciling, building up
giving of oneself: only from
peace is good born.

Freedom is the natural
sphere of spiritual and
economic life: freedom
bounded by responsibility and
responsibility and law'.