Artwork Data




Petra de Jong






doorsnede 600 cm

Artwork Location


Molenbrink, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.049929801167, 4.235956612422 View on map

Artwork Description


Sometimes a work of art causes a commotion. This happened to sculptor Petra de Jong. Her 1979 'Zonnewijzer' (Sundial) showed a striking resemblance to a sundial by the German Heinz Schumacher in Munich. This was the conclusion of a sundial expert in Delft. In the Haagsche Courant of 28 February 1979, De Jong defended himself as follows: I know Schumacher's books, of course. I also know the sundial in Munich. But I did not draw it. No, I have changed it fundamentally [...].

De Jong had to reposition the hour stones, or rather hour beams (for the sundial on Molenbrink in The Hague is made of hardwood), in order to have a correct indication of time. After all, Munich lies more to the south and east than The Hague. Moreover, she added bars for the night hours. Not so that the time can be read in the dark (after all, the sun does not shine then), but to emphasise the circular shape of the hand.

With the geometric design, De Jong refers to the round mill and to the sails that describe a circle as they turn. She primarily intended the pointer as a spatial object and as a play object for children. Incidentally, her work of art functions perfectly as a sundial. As soon as the sun is directly above the largest bar or shadow bar (on which, besides the place name 'Den Haag', the Roman numeral twelve is written), it is twelve o'clock in the residence. If the shadow of the shadow bar falls on, for instance, the bar with the Roman one and the place name 'Lisbon' on it, it is one o'clock in the court city and twelve o'clock in Lisbon.

The sundial is one of the many monumental designs De Jong made in abstract geometric style. Apart from objects for public spaces, she paints and draws and makes wall and floor paintings, mosaics and glass applications.