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  • From: 25 may 2019
  • Through: 01 september 2019
  • Location: Museum de Fundatie

Charlotte van Pallandt - Art as one’s purpose in life

Charlotte van Pallandt (1898-1997) is known above all for her ‘Wilhelmina monuments’ in Rotterdam and The Hague. Twenty years after the original stone monument for Rotterdam, unveiled in 1968, she made a bronze version that again depicted Wilhelmina as a resilient monarch. Van Pallandt did not make many sculptures for public spaces. She had little affinity with war monuments and was therefore overlooked for many commissions after the Second World War. She did however benefit from a flourishing of sculpture in the Netherlands after 1945.

As a female sculptor in a predominantly male world, Van Pallandt made a remarkably late entry to the Dutch art world. She was already over 50 when her work was first shown in a museum. She continued to a very advanced age and with absolute dedication to seek new forms of representation and expression. As a ‘strong woman’, and also as a result of her background and her training in Paris, Van Pallandt was something of a misfit. She lived a fairly secluded life, stood up for her views and eschewed publicity. Yet the unique development she underwent as an artist did not go unnoticed. Museums like Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam exhibited her sculptures and drawings.

Louise van der Veen, Charlotte van Pallandt standing in the doorway of her studio, 1956/1957 © RKD, The Hague.

Her work displayed ever more craftsmanship and a remarkable capacity for empathy, which was particularly useful when she made portraits. Her ‘heads’ reveal her insight into the character of the model. This does not however mean that her subjects were always pleased with the likeness. The statues and small figures of the famous Amsterdam life model Truus Trompert are of an entirely different genre. She was a constant source of inspiration, and remained Van Pallandt’s favourite model for over 20 years. The ‘Truus figures’ are some of the finest works in this artist’s rich oeuvre.

Subjects like her student days in pre-war Paris, how she managed in an art world dominated by men, and her contacts with clients and models are examined for the first time in depth in this publication. The so far unexplored Charlotte van Pallandt archive proved invaluable. Relatives and friends from the art world also talked openly about her life and work. Thanks to these valuable sources of information, this exhibition, curated by Maarten Jager, is the first to present a picture of Charlotte van Pallandt as an artist and as a person.

Charlotte van Pallandt, Truus, bronze, 65 cm high, Museum de Fundatie collection, Zwolle and Heino / Wijhe.

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Photo header: Charlotte van Pallandt, Wilhelmina, 1968, bronze 3 m, collection Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle and Heino/Wijhe.


  • From: 25 May 2019
  • Through: 01 Sep 2019
  • Location: Museum de Fundatie

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