Artwork Data


Zeehond en visotter


Françoise Carbasius




natuursteen / graniet

Artwork Location


Prinsessegracht, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.0835513485322, 4.31717389910158 View on map

Artwork Description


The animal was a subject that was completely mastered by sculptor Françoise Carbasius. The well-known art historian Cornelis Veth wrote in 'De Telegraaf' of 9 March 1937 about her two sculptures on the bridge of the Prinsessegracht over the Gietkom: 'Françoise Carbasius, who excels in animal sculpture, has made two small water animals for this bridge, a fish otter, the lively, finned creature with the smooth, slippery skin [...] and the good-natured, lobbier relative of this small rascal, the seal'.

Praise, then, for her otter, which gnaws at a fish, and her seal, which raises its head in the direction of passers-by. Because of their low position we would almost pass by these appealing animals of Norwegian granite. Carbasius made the preliminary study for the otter in wood. No preliminary study is known for the seal.

It is not surprising that the work of Carbasius compares well with that of Gra Rueb, another acclaimed animal sculptor. They were both born in 1885. They were both trained by the well-known sculptor Toon Dupuis (1877-1937) in The Hague and later went to Paris to study. They made their animal sculptures in a similar style, which was naturalistic but stylised, as was common in the first decades of the 20th century. You didn't learn that from me,' Dupuis, who expressed himself in a realistic style, once said to his pupil Carbasius, when she showed him a stylised wooden sculpture of a long-haired marmot.

Besides animal sculptures, Carbasius designed garden sculptures, medals and many plaques. She often portrayed the children of wealthy people for the plaques. In order to bring the children's facial expressions to life, she sometimes had them play with water and clay while posing. The naturalistic style of these works of art betrays the influence of her teacher Dupuis.