Sculpture Terrace

7 Sculptures from 7 great artists on the Westersingel

Reclining Figure Wotruba statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
Hanna Owusu
Written by Hanna Owusu
July 5, 2023

In the middle of the Westersingel is the Sculpture Terrace with seven sculptures around the theme of "Human". A perfect outing if you love architecture and art and like to stroll through the city.

Always wondered what the sculptures mean? Take this article with you and let yourself be inspired to think about our relationship to each other, to ourselves and to our environment.

“de Vlecht” by Kalliopi Lemos (2020)

The first sculpture is a 6.5-metre-high cut plait made of hundreds of steel cables. Called "The Plait" in English, this sculpture is part of her "Tools of Endearment" series, which also includes the three sculptures "Corset", "Bra" and "Bag of Aspirations". Here you see the symbol of rebellion against the partriarchy and old conventions.

“No title” by Joel Shapiro (1999)

This abstract figure also relates to the human being: it shows human expression in the most minimal forms of gesture. The human being is represented by 5 beams and can be interpreted differently in his expression from different angles.

De Vlecht Lemos statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“de Vlecht” by Kalliopi Lemos
Zonder Titel Shapiro statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“No title” by Joel Shapiro

“La grande musicienne” by Henri Laurens (1938) [1963]

Originally cast in plaster, the "great musician" was rebuilt as a bronze sculpture in 1963. It represents a fusion of a woman and a harp and stands near De Doelen, on whose terrace it once stood.

“Moeder en Kind” by Carel Visser (2000)

This sculpture consists of objects or waste cast in bronze and depicts a mother holding her baby in her arms. While the child is a broken doll, the mother, in stark contrast, is made of angular pieces of industrial waste. A good opportunity to reflect on the mother-child relationship - the first relationship each of us had.

Musicienne Laurens statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“La grande musicienne” by Henri Laurens
Moeder En Kind Visser statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“Moeder en Kind” by Carel Visser

“Reclining figure” by Fritz Wotruba (1969)

With a length of 310 cm, this is the only reclining figure on the sculpture terrace. It consists of large, heavy white limestone blocks from which Wotruba has carved a human-like figure. The deliberately rough surface lends the sculpture expression and is complemented by the rough, geometric elements.

“Goodbye” aka "The Lovers" by Umberto Mastroianni (1957)

This sculpture was a gift from the Rotterdam City Council to Dutch Railways for Central Station, where it previously stood until 2000. It combines cubism and futurism. Fun fact: originally called "The Lovers", the sculpture was renamed to avoid offending a rather prudish public.

Reclining Figure Wotruba statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“Reclining figure” by Fritz Wotruba (1969)
Goddbye Mastroianni statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“Goodbye” aka "The Lovers" by Umberto Mastroianni

“L’Homme qui Marche” by Auguste Rodin (1905)

There are 12 copies of this centrepiece of Rodin's work, one of which you can admire for free on the sculpture terrace. It has a long history of creation, dating back to 1877. In short, the torso and legs were assembled from different models at different times to create the final piece, "The Walking Man".

Walking Man Rodin statue Rotterdam myview rotterdam
“L’Homme qui Marche” by Auguste Rodin

The end of the Sculpture Terrace is the beginning of more art adventures

It's nice to experience so much art and culture just by being in the city. Besides the statues I've introduced you to here, there are over 200 other public works of art in the centre of Rotterdam - that's just the beginning. So keep an eye out for more on your walk and don't forget to look up at the facades. It's not uncommon to find statues and artworks at dizzying heights.

Hanna Owusu
Written by Hanna Owusu
July 5, 2023