Artwork Data


Monumentale bank


Co Brandes, Toon Dupuis




natuursteen / travertin / hout


br. 840 cm

Partial collection

Gemeentelijk monument

Artwork Location


Van Ouwenlaan, Den Haag

City district

Haagse Hout

GPS data

52.101272218283, 4.3249093113027 View on map

Artwork Description


From little gnome to functional sitting object, from decorative street furniture to monument: the bench comes in many shapes and forms. One of the earliest benches in The Hague is mentioned as being on Jacob Cats' Sorghvliet estate. This is where Cats had the Parnassus mountain built. On top of it stood a tree, surrounded by the bench in question, for relaxing, daydreaming or contemplating important matters. In garden architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common to include benches in addition to statues, obelisks or Gothic ruins. In the first decades of the 20th century, many monumental benches were erected, such as the bench designed by architect Co Brandes and sculptor Toon Dupuis in the Bosjes van Zanen in 1933.

The bench reads 'De Maatschappij Laan van Meerdervoort aan de gemeente 's Gravenhage 3 April 1932'. The austere and massive seat was a gift from one of the largest construction companies in pre-war The Hague to this city. Logically, Dupuis placed a relief of the city of The Hague in the middle. To the right, there is a statue of the god of trade Mercury, including a winged helmet and a snake's staff, and to the left, the personification of architecture, holding in her hand a triangle and a plumb bob, important instruments of the architect.

Brandes and Dupuis often worked together. Because of his academic signature, Dupuis, who came from Antwerp, was well-liked by the committees that had commissions to award. Brandes was a celebrated architect from The Hague, who belonged to the New Haagse School (1920-1940). His villa district Marlot is one of the best examples of this architectural movement in the Netherlands. There are certainly similarities between architecture and monumental sculpture: the horizontal elements of the bench can be seen in the balanced, geometric design of the Nieuwe Haagse School.