For comments mail P.H.Gommers@skynet.be

During 2001, Rotterdam carried the honory title of cultural capital of the EU. Amongst others, a Europa/Zeus statue
was placed on the "Kop van Zuid". It was the first input of 'Your_Comments' starting in 2003. The statue of Willem Verbon
was rather unique, while he seated Europa seperately from Bull/Zeus. Apparently, after safe arrival on Crete she reflected
painfully on her problematic situation, she got herself into. At the end of 2001, the statue being on loan, it was withdrawn.



30_01                                        30_02

A couple of years ago Europa appeared anew, now in the statue garden of the Elderly Care Institute for independeny living,
Stichting Humanitas, Achillesstraat 290, Rotterdam. A beautiful initiative, but alas,  bull/Zeus is not there anymore. Europe sitting
all alone, looking ashamed with her left hand hiding her face, her palm turned outward.
The sculptor Willem Verbon died in 2003; a close relation thought it had been sold to some company. Who can tell us more about
the whereabouts of Bull-Zeus. 


Rotterdam,  1 july,  from the testament executer


The 1648 European Peace Treaty of Münster gave the Republic of the Seven Dutch Provinces formerly their independence and
peace with Spain.The aldermen of Amsterdam - the richest and most powerful city of the Dutch Provinces and beyond - decided
to build a vast and splendid townhall ih the middle of their city, like the Roman Capitol in classical times. Above the entrance and 
likewise on the rear, two classical tympanums stand out. On the photo the rearside of the townhall is up in front. Above the top of
the tympanum we see a colossal bronze 'Atlas' carrying the celestial globe.


30_03                    30_04


The rear tympan features in the middle the personification of Amsterdam with her feet resting on the worldglobe, representing
the wealth brought to her by her trade all over the world. The four continents brought her the riches of the earth. On the left Africa
and close to the center the personification of Europe, the mythical Lady Europa, also crowned and carrying with her a overflowing
cornucopia. She stands in front of her bull. His head looks deadly serious with a human expression. The above shows the situation
in reverse. All the statues and reliëfs have been designed by Artus Quellinus, 1609-1668, - from a large artistic family from the
Southern Netherlands. He ran an atelier in Amsterdam with a large number of talented apprentices and artists.


Amsterdam, 2 Augustus 2015 one of numerous tourists


Another royal Dutch palace, Het Loo, at Apeldoorn, was built by king William IIi of England and stadtholder of Holland
in the 18th century.



Presently, its Picture Gallery features two gilted, baroque sidetables from the Southern Netherlands One shows an African lady
with a camel; the other Europa leaning against her bull. The head of the bull rests between her head and her upper arm


30_06                                     30_07



Apeldoorn, sept 1, a visitor



The well-known Meissen porcelain statuette of the mythical Europa on the back of Bullgod Zeus has been designed
and executed by Johann Joachim Kändler, 1706-1775, since 1731 Master modeler of the Meissen porcelain factory.
The original design of his
Europa statuette is still in the archives of the Meissen factory (see picture30_08).  From 1750's
the bases of statuettes and figurines were enhanced with Rococo  scrolls. His best work is considered to be from the late
thirties, early 1740's. Given the Rococo scrolls on the base of his 'Europa', it must have been realized in the early fifties.
                             30_08                      30_09


Some indicate that one of Kändler's pupils, Friedrich, Elias Meyer, modelled the original Meissen Europa around 1760
(f.e. EUROPA, Mercatorfonds, Eric Bussière a.o.).  He was active from 1748-'61 in Meissen but left then for the Berlin
porcelain factory and stayed there until 1791. Even accepting the early dating
, it must be one of the first copies of Kändler's
original. Being his pupil, it appears quite possible. He followed the design quite closely, although there
are some differences
modelling colouring, like the scrolls on the base.(30_09), and the wrap of Europa is more simply ruffled and the wreath
around the bull's neck is less delicate. One can wonder; did Meissen accept
these changes or was it an imitation from his
later years with the Berlin factory.

The Meissen factory marks on the statues above, I don't know. Meissen has used over the years at least 370 different marks.

30_10                    30_11

Most have been based on the crossed swords from the weapon of the Princes elector, subsequently, kings of Saxon. The marks
around 1740-1760 have crossed swords with an additional dot or more or less heavy painted swords under the glazing. Sometime
the swords grow into a fantasy mark (see 30_10 and 30_11


Meissen, 26 October, your webmaster



Over the centuries Meissen's Europa statuettes have always been based on Kändler's design, although the colouring might differ.
Many copies have been made through the ages. On internet one can find many examples. Most have been dated in the latter part
of the 19th century. Perhaps the successful coming into being of an agressive German empire enhanced a feeling of Europe
wide interest.

   30_12                                                            30_13                                              30_14               

From foto's the original colours are often difficult to determine. At first view the statuettes 30_12 and 30_14 appear quite similar,
but the floral dress from the kneeling companion in 30_12 is different from the all blue dress of the lady in 30_14. Also the colour
of the cloth of the sitting lady is yellowish for the first and bluish for the last one. In 30_13 Europa has a floral type of dress and
the kneeling lady does not seem to have a blue overwrap.It is a pity that remarks on the type of marks remain rather scarce.



     30_15                                                                        30_16                                                30_17

These three (30_15, 30_16, 30_17) are really very similar, only the wraps differ from colour. It feels like it is the same modeller and painter. What is really remarkable, none of the copiers of these six statuettes have tried to imitate the colours of the original. Is it to stress that these
are the copies? Meissen marks in the second part of the 19th century were often accompanied by two or more, horizontal or vertical,
hollow  scratches, like in 30_18. The horizontal scratches through the swords indicate second choice statuettes of that period.

                    30_18                      30_19

Not only copies from Meissen but also other porcelain factories tried to imitate this successful statuette under their own marks, which
sometimes are rather close to the Meissen mark with the two swords
. In other words real imitations.......

Dresden, November 2015 , still your webmaster



Meissen Imitations or copies made by other firms, are not always easy to distinguish, unless the non-Meissen factory gives away her
secret by its own full mark, which sometime can be close to Meissen's mark but not identical.
This copy of Kändler (30-20) gives the
impression of a not too accurate imitation. The hairdo of Europa and her ladies look more like the fashion of the early 1920's. Here, her
wrap, covered with flowers, falls from her shoulders. The ladies have shifted more to the right; the flower casket is different; the bull
appears to have a smaller neck. The whole impression is: 'the same idea but more childish interpreted'. It is difficult to imagine that
Meissen would accept this flowerly piece as a real Meissen copy. Even if its mark would look like a Meissen mark, It most certainly
is an outsider's imitation.

        30_20                                              30_21                                                30_22

Number 30-21 is more of a puzzle.The likeness with the original is quite striking, but it carries the mark of her strongest
international competitor, the Royal Sèvres porcelain factory near Paris. The mark of double L L's carries the letter 'a', together
it stands for: produced by Sèvre in 1753
(30_22). That's very close to Kändler's estimated date of early '1750s'. Even in that time,
porcelain companies quite often imitated nice pieces from each other. But who was first? Given the strong follow-up of
Kändler's Europa by the Meissen company and the apparent, rather silent treatment of this Sèvres copy by that company,
it remains obvious that the original is a Meissen. Of course one could ponder is the Sèvres mark perhaps also an imitation

30_23                                            30_24                                30_25                                        30_26

In 1762 Prinz Georg H.M.zu Schwarzburg-Rudolfstadt established in his Fürstendom in Thüringen his own porcelain factory.
It was Christian Nonne from Erfurt who directed the factory successfully between 1764-1800. One of the marks he used
shows crossed swords with an horizontal line through the middle of the crossing point of the swords. and with a circumflex in
between the swords (30_24). He made several ancient Greek mythical groups, like Europa with Bullgod Zeus and Leda with
Zeus in the form of a Swan (Kunstgewerbe Museum Berlin, 1785). Indeed, this type of mark was used by this factory between
1787-1800. Presently, the factory is called "Älteste Volkstedter Porzellanfabrik, Rudolfstadt. The statuette presented under
30_23 carries this mark.
Besides different colouring of Europa and her Ladies dresses, the statuette looks quite alike
Kändler's Meissen original model.
In 1872 Carl Johann Gottlieb Thieme turns his porcelain painting firm in Dresden into a fullfledged porcelain factory, called
Sächische Porzellanfabrik zu Potschappel (Dresden) von Carl Thieme. His son in law, Carl August Kuntzsch, 1855-1920,
was already a famous flowermodeller, when he took the direction of the factory, after his father in law died in 1872. A
luxeriant flowerdecoration became
 a characteristic feature of their porcelain objects. At that time he used marks like crossed
swords or lines with a T of Thieme on top
(30_26). It was used between 1888 until about 1901. The origin of this statuette of
, carrying this mark, can therefore be situated in the in the end of the 19th century and certainly Carl Kuntzsch will
had a hand in modelling the flowery bull. The dresses of Europa and the lady friends have recognizable colours. However,
their faces are more childlike, less mature
Statuettes 30_2
3 and 30_25 are also mentionned in my study, Europe What's in a Name, p.161. Their origin is there wrongly placed.

December, 1             Your webmaster wishes you a happy New Year