Scheveningse Bos, Den Haag
52.098966390945, 4.2945876192828 View on map
Had it not been for the efforts of the Hague squire Henry Christiaan Arnoud Ver-Hüell (1818-1880), the Scheveningse Bosjes would probably have looked very different. As a member of the Council Committee of Local Works and Properties, he was the driving force behind the beautification and restructuring of the cluttered dune area of the Scheveningse Bosjes since 1864. Thanks to him, a large pond was dug and the groves were replanted between 1864 and 1882.
In gratitude, Mayor Gevers Deynoot suggested in 1880 that a "lasting token of gratitude" be erected for Ver-Hüell's deeds.
Council member A.P. Godon suggested placing a white marble bench as a memorial near the pond. The design for that bench was contracted out to sculptor Eugène Lacomblé. Born and trained in Brussels, this sculptor was known in The Hague because he taught there at the Royal Academy of Art and at the Polytechnic School in Delft. Lacomblé conceived a classical semicircular bench on several steps and flanked it with two griffins (mythological creatures with the upper body of an eagle and the lower body of a lion) crowned with two vases. In September 1881, the bench was completed. Unfortunately, the squire did not live to see the bench himself. A few weeks before, he succumbed to his heart condition.
The "Ver-Hüellbank," incidentally, is the only truly monumental work Lacomblé executed in The Hague. More successful than in the monumental field was this sculptor with his portraits and salon statues. With the latter, Lacomblé quickly created a furor since his arrival in The Hague in 1855. The smooth-polished white marble sculptures were fashionable in his homeland at the time.
Interestingly, the 'Ver-Hüellbank' has regularly served as the background for paintings by The Hague painter Pieter Haaxman (1854-1937).