As promised last time here are some more Amsterdam beasties.
Creatures adorn a LOT of buildings in this town! Some have been around for centuries (and are more than a little… enigmatic):
And some are elaborately ornate (and posturing!), like this guy:
But the ones I’ve really been enjoying are the slightly angular, stylised stone carvings that appear all over the place, many on Amsterdam School (c. 1915 – 1940) style brick & stone buildings and bridges. If it creeps, crawls, swims, springs, swoops or swings, gallops, lopes or flies you’ll find it looking down at you from some or other building’s facade or bridge’s brick support.
Despite my googling efforts I haven’t been able to find any specific information about these beasties (just vague mentions like “… the multifarious vocabulary of the Amsterdam School, enriched by references to organic and animal shapes”, from this book). But they’re such a charming bunch I think they deserve so much more – I’d love to see them all gathered together in a book full of sumptuous photographs and information about the artists and craftsmen who made them. They give new meaning to the term ‘urban jungle’!
If anyone knows of a resource that discusses these decorative stone creatures in any depth I’d love to hear about it (perhaps there’s something in Dutch that my second-rate Dutch language googling didn’t unearth?).
The heart-warming stone sculpture below (which I call the ‘bunny whisperer’, and which always makes me think of kozyndan’s great series of bunny drawings) adorns the Muzenplein bridge in Oud Zuid. Apparently it’s by the sculptor and ceramicist Hildo Krop, who was Amsterdam’s official city sculptor for many years (until c. 1967). He started out as a pastry chef, and I can definitely imagine the below sculpture as a great big pile of chocolate smothered profiteroles!