h. 40 cm
Varkenmarkt, Den Haag
52.074614259547, 4.3062073957703 View on map
Many artists are averse to it, to taking early retirement or retiring. They keep on working, driven as they are. This was also true of sculptor Bram Roth, who continued to work long after retirement age. After the Second World War, his artistic practice began to flourish. He received numerous commissions from municipal institutions and companies in The Hague in the 1960s. When he was 72, he made a double-sided bronze relief for the Varkenmarkt. The relief stood for a number of years in the Zuiderpark, but since 2018 it has been on the Varkenmarkt as before.
That Roth had no reason to stop is proven by this relief from 1988. As ever, Roth shows himself to be a sculptor of the everyday. Humans and animals are depicted in their ordinary way - with the touch of sweet romanticism that is so characteristic of Roth. In addition, Roth has mastered the tricky technique of creating reliefs. The picture plane is hardly allowed to become three-dimensional and yet perspective has to be added to it. Roth found various solutions for this. For instance, the figures and animals in this relief are rendered slightly elevated, giving them volume while remaining within the flat surface.
Looking at the other side of the relief, we see a scene with flower sellers. In the past, flowers were sold near the Pig Market. The flower stall is indicated by a few simple lines. They are incised or protrude slightly. Here, Roth plays with space by depicting the saleswomen sitting behind and on the stall. The two customers are placed just in front of the stall.
He uses the same technique in the production of his medals. After all, they are miniature reliefs. In addition to medals and reliefs, Roth made large bronze and stone sculptures. In these works of art, he always combined massive components with sketchy ones, thus achieving a refined playful effect.