ZITTENDE VROUW (GEORGE GRARD)
The walk starts on the Market Square, right in front of the Tourist Office, which is housed in the historic building ‘De Cipierage’, a Renaissance building dating from 1662, and used to be the jail of Sint-Niklaas. Throughout the years, it was restored several times and was used as police station, telephone exchange, court, museum as well as library.
Opposite this building, on the wooden promenade you will find two statues by George Grard.
He particalurly prefers female nude bronzes . He was strongly inspired by classical French sculptors, e.g. Aristide Maillol (1861-1944). Until the mid-fifties he concentrated on full, female shapes of either sitting, reclining or standing characters. In 1958 his style took a turn with the sculpture ‘the African’ a female, exhibited on the 1958 World Expo in Brussels. Here he sculpts a new image: a slender female figure, long and less voluptuous.
A statue, identical to the ‘Seated Woman’ can be found in Louvain-la-Neuve on the Place de l’Acceuil.
You’ll find a similar statue, albeit of a larger size and dressed, in the Berlaimontlaan in Brussels (between the National Bank of Belgium and the cathedral of St Goedele).
GRARD George (1901- 1984)
Georges Grard, born in 1901, studied sketching, sculpture and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Tournai. He is generally acknowledged to be one of the greatest figurative Belgian sculptors. In 1930 he won the Rubens Prize of the Museum of fine Arts in Brussels. In 1935, Grard founds the ‘School of Sint-Idesbald’ with some artist friends among whom Paul Delvaux,. In 1935 the sculptor wins the ‘Prize of Hainaut’ and the ‘Prize Picard of the Free Academy of Belgium’. In 1967 he becomes a member of the Class of Fine Arts, section Sculpture, of the Belgian Royal Academy for Science, Literature and Fine Arts, where he wins the quinquennial prize, a culmination of his artistic career. The George Grard Museum in Sint-Idesbald houses the plaster moulds and on the territory of Ten Bogaerde, the bronze sculptures.
Kunst in de Stad – October 19th 2013