Have you wondered what those charming, somewhat bizarre bronze statues found near the beach in Scheveningen are about? Read on to learn more about the Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea…
The bronze statues which line the boulevard in Scheveningen are the work of American artist Tom Otterness. He created twenty three separate collections for the project ‘SprookjesBeelden aan Zee‘ (Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea) for the Museum Beelden aan Zee in 2004.
The sculptures are designed using simple geometric shapes, many with big round heads and thin tubular legs. They range from sweet and charming to bizarre and disturbing. Some are easily identifiable to the children’s story from which they were inspired while others come from Dutch culture (such as the King and Queen) or are an amalgamation of influences, such as The Crying Giant where Otterness was inspired by several sources including Rodin’s ‘Thinker‘, Goya’s ‘The Colossus’ and the 9/11 tragedy.
The tallest figurine in this group is The Herring Eater which stands just over 42 feet (4 stories or 13 meters). It can be seen in the background in the photo above.
Some of the others stories referenced in the ‘Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea’ collection include:
- Hans Brincker (the story of the Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dike to save Holland from flooding)
- Pinocchio (Carlo Collodi)
- Oh Lars, My Lad (Swedish folktale)
- Tin Soldier and the Ballerina (Hans Christian Andersen)
- The Lion and the Mouse (Aesop’s Fables)
- See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil (Three Wise Monkeys)
- Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
- Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)
- The Queen and the Magic Fish (the Brothers Grimm)
- Hansel and Gretel (the Brothers Grimm)
- The Frog Prince (the Brothers Grimm)
The sculptures have been in their current location since completion of the boulevard redesign project in 2012.
Can you place any of the sculptures pictured below with fairy tale which inspired it?