Flying buttress figurine: A Foolish Maiden


A foolish maiden

flying buttress statue from the Eusebius Church in Arnhem: a Foolish Maiden

the old tufa sculptur

Of the flying buttresses which we are now working on, each have their own theme. There are seven trumpet angels, people who represent the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, a group of Wise Maidens and this sculpture from the last arc depicts a Foolish Maiden.

Briefly, the story goes like this: this girl is waiting for the groom, but just before he arrives she discovers that the oil for her lamp has run out. While she's out buying new oil, she misses the party and knocks at the door in vain. Maintain your energy level!

Planes and lines

An old flying buttress figurine from the Eusebius Church in Arnhem: a Foolish Maiden. Ancient tuff statue.

cubistic design

This group was sculpted in a fairly cubistical way, and quite heavy. It was almost impossible to see what is actually being portrayed. Even standing right next to it, I could not see it very well. There were a number of surfaces and lumps, but their purpose was not clear. Upon completion, mid fifties, they asked the sculptor if he could make it all a bit slimmer afterwards. I can not really see that that has helped.

Storytelling

With this kind of sculptures, it is intended that the story will be illustrated by them. Unfortunately I couldn't recognize it anymore in this one. After long thinking I decided to adapt some things a bit. Not that it will be a break in style: broadly it is still the same image. However, between all the surfaces it wasn't clear that she carries a container under her arm. I thought that this jug was the most important attribute in the story, and therefore it should be much clearer what exactly it is. For that reason I have made the can of oil round. This puts it more sharply into contrast to the rest of the figurine, allowing the girl herself to stand out better. I also tried to make it clear that the Foolish Maiden rises quickly, while she's gathering up her skirts. Her wedding dress. That is why they have such an ample dress!

An old flying buttress figurine from the Eusebius Church in Arnhem: a Foolish Maiden. Copy in Muschelkalk limestone

The copy in limestone

Copy

Perhaps not everyone will appreciate my choices; it remains a difficult issue. I chose to tell the story more clearly. Yet, though the statue has become a bit slimmer all around, I did follow its existing shapes. All surfaces are reflected in the copy. Some details were added, such as the boots and the cleavage, some folds in the gown and there is a little bit of expression in the face. Her posture has remained the same, but I hope that because of the lighter limestone and the slightly more slender version it's a little bit clearer what she's doing. And because the jug stands out more, it may also be clearer what this Foolish Virgin is carrying, and that this is not part of her dress. An empty oil container.

Two completions

Because we should soon provide two churches with newly made sculptural parts, it's currently quite busy. I'll be away on a break as well, so I try as much as possible to do all of the sawing in advance. Hence, there will not be much to report in the coming period: sawing work is not too interesting to write about. See you later!

Beeldhouwerijblog.nl is the blog of Koen van Velzen, sculptor in stone and bronze. Look up my website as well: beeldhouwerijvanvelzen.nl

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