Artwork Data




Eric Claus





Artwork Location


Zuid-Hollandplein, Den Haag

City district

Haagse Hout

GPS data

52.087374651584, 4.3169926566223 View on map

Artwork Description


He is well over eighty years old but still very productive and creative. I can't be killed. Despite my age, I still work very hard. Especially in coronation time I had the time for that, because then I was much less distracted than usual. This statement by sculptor Eric Claus was recorded on 15 June 2021 on the occasion of the unveiling of two sculptures by his hand on either side of the entrance door to the Tower of Our Lady in Amersfoort.
Work by the artist is scattered throughout the Netherlands. In The Hague, sculptures by Claus have been placed at various locations, including the Owl Tree in the courtyard of the Provinciehuis in South Holland. The owl sits in the elm, wise, with its shoulders raised and its feathers thick. It is an ode by Claus to times gone by. From 1863 to 1943, this was the site of the Royal Zoological-Botanical Garden. In popular speech it was known as the Zoo.

Claus has depicted the owl in a natural way, so that it contrasts beautifully with the tree, which is made up of four flat planes with graphic, relief-like detailing. In this sculpture Claus brings together two visual languages: figuration and abstraction. Combining them, and also switching between these styles, is typical of Claus. He takes the liberty of determining for each work of art which language of form best suits its theme.

This way of working is undoubtedly connected to the basis of Claus' artistry. He trained in Amsterdam: first at the Graphic School, then at the Rijksnormaalschool voor Tekenleraren and finally at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten. He received his first commissions in the early 1960s. He designed coins and medals and made a furore with them. Commissions for monumental and smaller sculptures soon followed. Claus' oeuvre comprises many hundreds of works of art, including paintings and drawings.