Plse continue to send your sightings of new and old images of Europa and Bull/Zeus.


Ex Libris

It is astonishing to note that ExLibris artists and organisations have been using extensively the image of Europe and Bull/Zeus, but they have not been acknoledged by arthistorians, classicists and authors specializing on the subject of Europe. Probably, there are hundreds of designs, etches for Ex Libres of Europe and the bull by well known artists. But they were never included in the context of exhibitions or books on the general subject of the Europe Myth. Just a few are given here as exemples.

19_01             19_02

 Piotr Narzarkovski, Poland, 1988                                 Arkady Pugachevsky, Ukraine, 1997
,  7,5-5,5 cm                                          woodcutting, 12,5-17,5 cm 
collection Waterschoot, Gemert, NL                               owned by artist 

From the Catalogue of the exposition "Europa besteigt den Stier" (Europe mounts the Bull) of summer, 1998. Organized by the Artassociation of Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany.   

After the fall of communist dictatorship in Eastern Europe in 1989 the artmusea of Nürnberg (G)in cooperation with artmuseum Frederikshavn (DK) and the artmuseum of Passau (G), under the auspices of the international federation of exlibris art societies, FISAE, realized an international exposition and exlibris competition with the title Europe and the bull. Of the 170 entries about 120 came from former Eastern Europa and Russia.

19_03                                                                          19_04                                                  19_05


Valerii Mishin  USRR 1990                           Vladimir Suchanek  Czechosl. 1990              Wim Zwiers, Netherlands, 1990
, 11,7-11,9cm                      lithography in green,12-10,4cm                    engraving in red, 7,1-6cm
owned by: Luc van den Briele                        Dr. Arnold Hausweiler                                Anneke Kuyper

all the entries to the exhibition can be found in the Exlibris Katalog, 1991, Europa, Frederikshavn Kunstmuseum, Stadtgeschichliche Museen Nürnberg, Oberhausmuseum Passau.

The 'Europe emblem used for Exlibris' is certainly a subject for further study.


January 2, 2010                                      with thanks to Hein Bierens for his initiative.



In 1990 the German town Passau, known for its annual cultural European weeks, ordered an Europa bronze plastic for its Europa Square. The German artist, Renate König-Schalinski got the commission. Europe has been executed in a strongly stylized manner close to naïf art.


The statue is 2,24 by 1,71 m. The bull has been stylized to a simple bow. The accompanying little bow should be interpreted as a dolphin, who often is included in the Europe image, indicating the ride over sea.


Februari 1, 2010             A visitor


Finally, the Lisbon Treaty, after years of haggling, was ratified in 2009 by all members. The European Council appointed from their midst its first  full time president for 2 ×2½ years, the sitting Prime Minister of Belgium Herman van Rompuy. The idea being that he not only would lead the European Council meetings, but would also represent the EU in the political field not covered by the European Commission. Lady Catherine Ashton as vice president of the European Commission would  cover all foreign affairs of the EU, including decisions not proposed by the European Commission.



If the Council President leads the individual Eu countries, represented by the bull; his little thin guiding string does not look very convincing. Lady Ashton armament is at  best symbolic. The print appeared in the Dutch Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant of 23 January 2010, and earlier on 20-11-09 in the Kleine Zeitung of Austria. This political ambiguous solution of divide and rule between the Council, the Commission and the EU Members is here masterly interpretated by Pidmestravic, as the very human, eternal, love triangle. Most of the time they do not last long. But with her three thousand years of experience Europe will survive.

Rotterdam,  Maart 1 2010                                                                  Sandra van der Lubbe



The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rewards local & regional authorities for their active promotion of the European ideal. Since 1989 a Plaque of Honour has been awarded to 145 municipalities & regional authorities.          

The Plaque of Honour existed of a marble slab of 30-40 cm. On it is fixed a bronze medallion of 22 cm diameter with a bas-relief representing goddess Europe standing  next to bull/Zeus. Below the medallion the name of the award winning town is mentioned with the year of issue. Below left the Plaquette awarded to the German town Melsungen in 1996. The plaque was engraved by Prof. Zilli, Austria. It was spotted in the townhall of Melsungen by Jacoba Koster.

  19_08                                                  19_09

In 2001 a new model of the Plaquette was issued, shown above on the right. On top a riding Europe on bull/Zeus accompanied by a floating fairy-like person carrying laurels of victory and dolphins indicating the sea. The eagle indicates the presence of god Zeus, here in the shape of a bull. Down below the placename of the French, Plaquette winning, municipality. The plaquette has been designed by Prof. Demange of the University Marc Bloch, Strasbourg.

For more information or instructions how to apply for a award, you can ask the Responsible for the Europe Prize section of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg: Marie-Anne Menger

April 1, 2010   With thanks to Jacoba Koster for her keenness of observation and drawing our attention to this Europe


Geographic Maps

The 1624 edition of the welknown atlas of the German geographer and historian Philippe Cluwer (Cluver or Cluverius),  1580-1622, Introductio in universam geographiam..,was annotated by by J.Bruno, J.Reiske & J.-F. Heckel, and was published by Joannem Wolters, Amstelaedami, 1697. His worldmap features vignets of the four continents, one in each corner. Europe is represented by Lady Europe sitting on the lying bull. On the map of Europe, another vignet shows Europe with a laurelwrath around her head, again sitting on the lying bull and is surrounded by Hermes and Cupido.

7 April 2010   Auction Henri Godts, Brussels,  9 :3 :2010


n lacquer boxes is a folkart with miniature paintingsstarting in the 19th century. The boxes are made of papier-mache and several times varnished. In between the layers the image is made with tempera paint. There are four centers, the villages Fedoskino, Palekh, Kholui and Mstera. The genuine lacquer box carries the name of the village and of the painter. One such a box appeared on ebay with Europe painted after Veronese.      Art of Russia           

                                      19_10                                                                                    19_11 


Although the prints are rather bad, they do give a reasonable impression of the lacquer box with painting. the artist  is Turbreniova from the village of Fedoskino, about 40 km north of Moscow. The boxmeasures 20-15-5,5 cm

 Antwerp, 1 May 2010        an ebay-client


The Czechian artist Frantisek Kupka, 1871-1957, lived and worked many years in France, where he died. A large part of his early work was bought by his patriot, the entrepreneur Jindrich Waldes, 1876-1941. He founded his Waldes museum in Prague. The communist regime confiscated his collection, which went to the National Museum. The collection was restored to his greatson George Waldus in 1996, including this drawing of Europe



This design was probably a project  for the cover of the French satyrical magazine, l'Assiette au beurre, of 15 June, 1907. On top is vaguely written   'Le Dire International' It looks like Europe is put to flight by a threatening society led by  military, industrial and religious, mutual interest. Representatives of these groups wave Europe goodbye. The term 'Collaborateurs' is not part of the design, but the Heading of the Colophon of the Magazine. The drawing was not published. It is a watercolour/goulash, 31,5-23,7 cm.


Again from CzechiaVictor Polásek,1911-1989, painter and illustrator. He studied at the Arts Academy of Prague a.o. under T.F. Simon (see Comments 2nd half 2005-1st half 2006)



The painting is dated 1961 and named 'Europe on the crossroads. This was a couple of years after the uprising in Hungary and the start of the European Communtity. This oil on canvas is 115 -88,5 cm

Amsterdam, June 6, 2010          Mrs. J. Koster