A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Friday 31 December 2010

Friday's Funerary Artist

Here lies buried
Hildo Krop
City Sculptor of Amsterdam
26-2-1884   20-8-1970

and also of
W.F Krop
10-12-1891   3-9-1981
H. Krop
 ? 1915    20-11-2001

Hildebrand Lucien (Hildo) Krop was a prolific Dutch sculptor and furniture designer, widely known as the city sculptor of Amsterdam, where his work is well-represented.

War Memorial, Steenwijk, Holland 1947

Hildo was a baker's son, but was unwilling to work with his older brother. In Leiden he took classes in making marzipan figures. He then travelled to France and Italy where he worked as a pastry chef.
Hildo was in England in 1906 and employed by a couple as a cook. He discovered his talent as a draftsman and attended summer school in art.
Upon returning to the Netherlands, he decided to become an artist and went to study in Paris. Then In 1908, he studied at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam where he learnt stone carving from the sculptor John Rädecker.

In 1910, he taught at a high school in Haarlem. In 1911-1912, he studied in Berlin and then traveled from Rome to Paris, where he joined Dutch painter Jacob Bendien. He befriended Ossip Zadkine, who taught him sculpture and direct carving. In 1913 after returning to Amsterdam, he worked as an assistant in the studio of Hendrik van den Eijnde until1916.
Hildo then became a staff member of the Amsterdam Department of Public Works. He created two groups of dockworkers in granite for a 1916 Public Works project. His work appears integrated with many civic buildings and bridges of the time.

He designed exterior figures on the Scheepvaarthuis by Amsterdam School architects Johan van der Mey, Piet Kramer and Michel de Klerk are his. After this building, Krop received appointment as city sculptor.

Hildo was responsible for many sculptures in Amsterdam, which include the Berlage monument on Victory Square and the plaque at the monument on the Dyke. At the Nassau Square in The Hague is his war memorial. The beautiful art nouveau villa Rams Woerth in Steenwijk has rooms that feature a varied collection of his work. Hildo Krop also designed furniture, ceramics, glass and ironworks.

Hildo spent much of his life among communist circles. In 1921, he designed the cover for H. Roland Holst's book Soviet Russia. In 1931, he made a bust of Lenin. In 1932, he traveled to the Soviet Union where he stayed for three months.
Hildo also cooperated with Soviet intelligence agents. His first spymaster was Max Friedman. Through him, he came to know 'Ludwik' (Ignace Reiss).

University Library, Amsterdam 

Hildo was the son of Henry Krop, baker, and Johanna Louisa Cordes and he had two brothers and four sisters. On the 24 December 1914 Hildo married Frederika Willemnia ("Mien") Sleef. They had two children, a daughter and a son. A third child (son) died young.
For more information, please click on his name here Hildo Krop 

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Wednesday's Child

Encased within the glass of this headstone,
a favourite scarf appears to form the decoration upon it.

Toon Hulsebosch
10 September 1986    23 July 1997

Monday 27 December 2010

Sunday 26 December 2010

The Holly and the Ivy........

Sacred Cemetery Trees

Holly's significance as a Christian symbol, is connected to it's prickly leaves and likened with Jesus' crown of thorns and the berries with the drops of blood shed for humanity's salvation, as related to in the Christmas carol, 'The Holly and the Ivy'.
Yet even here the reference to these two plants refers to a pre-Christian celebration, where a boy would be dressed in a suit of holly leaves and a girl similarly in ivy, to parade around the village, bringing Nature through the darkest part of the year to re-emerge for another year's fertility.
Like several other native trees it was felt to have protective properties, and there were taboos against cutting down a whole tree. Hollies were frequently left uncut in hedges when these were trimmed. A more arcane reason for this was to obstruct witches who were known to run along the tops of hedges.

The yew tree was another sacred tree of the Druids in pre-Christian times. They possibly observed the tree's qualities of longevity and regeneration (drooping branches of old yew trees can root and form new trunks where they touch the ground), and the yew came to symbolise death and resurrection in Celtic culture.
They will also have been familiar with the toxicity of the tree's needles in particular, which can prove fatal, and which may have further contributed to its connections with death.
The themes of death and resurrection continued into the Christian era, with the custom of yew shoots being buried with the deceased, and boughs of yew being used as 'Palms' in church at Easter. Yew trees have in fact established a popular association with old churches in Britain, to the extent that very old specimens of yew trees are now relatively rare outside of church grounds.
According to Richard Mabey in his Flora Britannica "... no other type of ancient tree occurs so frequently inside church grounds ..." and he goes on to say that he does not know of any other relationship between places of worship and a single tree species existing anywhere else in the Western world.
Yew trees have traditionally been planted beside churches. But in other cases it seems that very old yew trees may have already been growing on a site before the earliest churches were erected there; such as the one beside Fortingall's Church, Perthshire, Scotland may even predate Christianity itself.

Several other yews growing by churches have become famous in their own right, such as the Bleeding Yews of Nevern in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Friday 24 December 2010

Friday's Funerary Art ~ Sculpture

At first sight I wasn't too sure what this was.........
I wondered if it was some kind of practical supporting structure, but for what I wondered ?
It was only when I discovered the inscription, which I nearly missed that I realised it was a monument.
Modern sculpture always catches me out that way...........

Hep van Delft
12-5-1921    12-5-1999

Thursday 23 December 2010

Deep and Crisp and Even ........

The tree in the picture above is the same one that I photographed just over six weeks ago in my November post titled 'Autumn in the Cemetery' - and it was stunning bright orange at that time.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Wednesday's Children

Sacred to the Memory of
? William Erswell
aged 11 months
? William Erswell
aged 9 months
Edgar Enoch Erswell
aged 8 years
who are interred in the churchyard of this parish
also of ? 

I didn't want to disturb the snow and spoil the scene, and so I shall have to come back and discover the identities of the other Erswell children after the thaw.

I also noticed how the reflective quality of the snow made the reading of some of the other stones, much easier, a bit like using tinfoil to illuminate from below.
In addition to which, snow makes a really handy wipe for inscriptions - I was able to find out the name of the mother of 'Little Johnny' in a recent Wednesday's child post, that I had been unable to see at the time - that post has since been amended.


Tuesday 21 December 2010

Walking in a Winter Wonderland.......

When I arrived at the cemetery, the only other tracks in the snow where those of the animals who live there and one other kind person who had left some bread out for the birds.

Monday 20 December 2010

Monday Mourning ~ Shelter from the Snow

Mother and Child

I love the way that the bigger stones appear to be protecting the smaller ones from the cold winter snow

Sunday 19 December 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow..........

After last nights Snow Fall, this is a Sunday morning stroll through my local cemetery, who could resist it.........

Friday 17 December 2010

Friday's Funerary Artist

Eugène Brands is frequently mentioned in connection with the CoBrA movement, however he belonged to it for only a very short time. With his very personal views on art, Eugène Brands was thought of as a loner.

He was interested in primitive cultures, especially their music and he tried to express many of the magical elements of these cultures in his work, which for a long time during the 1950s was also characterised by his fascination with children's drawings. This was a typical CoBrA feature, helped in his case by the fact that his daughter Eugenie was a toddler at the time. He drew inspiration from this source, resulting in little paintings, most of them oil on paper.


In the 1960s Brands gradually abandoned representative art in favour of abstraction. He began to paint large areas of colour "of an impenetrable, cotton wool-like substance," said CoBrA historian Willemijn Stokvis. Which Brands continued to do until an advanced age, from 1993 onwards he concentrated on producing gouaches on paper, which he found less physically demanding.
Eugène Brands died on the day of his 89th birthday.

Flowing Landscape

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Wednesday's Children

In Loving Memory of
William George Jones
Tragically killed 14-5-1973
aged 13yrs 8mths
To know we never said goodbye
Will always bring regret
But the hearts that truly love him
Are the ones that never forget
Michelle Donna Louise Deplanque
taken from us 17-2-1975
aged 2 days
Sweet little baby how short was your stay
Just looked around and you were taken away

Our dearest son and daughter
to us the best


Monday 13 December 2010

Monday Mourning ~ The Prices of Kedington

Generations of the Price Family lived and died here in the small village of Kedington, Suffolk and were buried in these 19th Century graves in the churchyard of St. Peter and Paul - where no doubt, they also prayed.
And as the old saying goes - Those who pray together, Stay together - 
Even in death............

Friday 10 December 2010

Friday's Funerary Art ~ Ceramics

Wil Oliemans
7-4-1947  15-3-2003

I love these ceramics butterflies, as they look quite cheerful in a place that is not often associated with joy .........
The modern part of Zorgvlied cemetery in Amsterdam, has many graves such as this one, where it appears that the grieving are reminded of the 'life' of their loved ones, rather than a place that generally represents their sense of sorrow and loss. I think that it makes Zorgvlied a more welcoming place for the visitor and it appears to offer an opportunity to reflect upon the pleasant aspects of life that they may have shared together instead.

I also liked the idea that in time when the lease on this plot has expired, the butterflys could be removed and passed down to the surviving family members to be used in a decorative way, unlike a traditional headstone that is only ever used for it's sole purpose and cannot be re-cycled.

The Butterfly's funerary symbolism, relates to it's three stages of life. With the caterpillar representing 'life', the chrysalis is for 'death' and the butterfly is ultimately 'resurrection'.

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