brons / steenachtig
Sweelinckplein, Den Haag
52.0832540657042, 4.28384565538062 View on map
Who is that shy, timid girl, there on the Sweelinckplein? The title of the sculpture, 'Fairy Tale', provides a clue. Is it Cinderella or Snow White? But this mysterious girl bears little resemblance to either of these fairytale figures. The answer is unlikely to be found in fairytale writers such as Charles Perrault or the Brothers Grimm. Searching in the city itself, we come to the author Louis Couperus (1863-1923).
Couperus' extensive oeuvre includes, besides novels, short stories and poems, a number of fairy tales. In his fairy tale 'Of the ever-loving goddess' (1913), Eos plays the leading role. Van Kralingen probably had Eos in mind when he designed his 'Sprookje' sculpture. Unfortunately, we can no longer ask him. He died in 2001.
Van Kralingen became a sculptor against the wishes of his father, who was afraid he would not be able to earn anything with it. Things turned out differently. After completing his studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 1945, Van Kralingen quickly made a name for himself. With sufficient money in his pocket, the young artist left for France in 1949. In the village of Tourrette sur Loup, he worked in stone, painted and made tapestries. Van Kralingen also always modelled in clay and at the end of the 1980s, he started making mosaics.
In more than half a century, Van Kralingen built up a predominantly figurative oeuvre, in which the human figure plays a central role. Besides being a free artist, he was a teacher until a ripe old age.