Lange Voorhout, Den Haag
52.082213806808, 4.3122750841309 View on map
It has been called a ghost for a long time. And a foundling. But in the end, the sculpture turned out to be a sumptuous woman's torso by sculptor Leon Bouter. The sculpture had been placed in the grass near Pulchri Studio on Lange Voorhout at the time of an exhibition. After that it fell into oblivion and in the end nobody knew who it belonged to and what it was doing there.
Yet Bouter was not the first to come to The Hague. As a fashion designer, he had a successful business in the Kazernestraat for twelve years. His designs were characterised by a lot of gold, velvet and colourful fabrics and often had a folkloric touch. The famous actor from the soft-porn film 'Emanuelle' Sylvia Kristel was his favourite model. Despite his success, he decided in the summer of 1974 to say goodbye to fashion and to close his business. For eight years, he had been sculpting as a hobby and Bouter had discovered that that was what he preferred to do. So the flamboyant fashion designer went to Greece to make a living as a sculptor.
Bouter occasionally exhibited the results of his work at Pulchri in The Hague. Such as this torso of a female figure, which is typical of his style. He probably originally painted the torso on Lange Voorhout with a layer of gold paint. But this has since worn off. In 1999 the owner of the statue was (re)discovered. It can probably be seen in the background of a photo accompanying an interview with the artist in Het Vaderland of 10 September 1975.