the Story of the Mysterious Violinist

in mystery •  2 years ago  (edited)

The other week I paid a visit to our city hall in my little town Amsterdam. Nope, not to visit our mayor; I needed to renew my ID card and driving licence. As usual when getting to the government counters to get something arranged, one will not be served immediately. Although, I don't complain at all, since I think our system in the Netherlands is one of the best, and one of the fastest in the world. We don't have to queue in the classical sense, we will get assigned a number, a digital board shows what numbers are next, and also gives an estimated waiting time.

I was free to do whatever I wanted.

Since the board told me the expected queuing time would be less then 20 minutes, I decided not to go into the city, but explore the art in our town hall.

image: the violinist at Amsterdam city hall | © @edje

As usual when I enter the town hall, I always take a little moment at the main entrance to watch the iron sculpture of a violinist. For some reason I always like to spend a little time with this sculpture. Maybe because the piece of art is anonymous; Maybe because I like violin music a lot; Maybe because the face of violinist shows some familiarity; Maybe because the violinist has a pretty cool view towards the city: Who knows? :)

image: the view of the violinist #1 | © @edje

image: the view of the violinist #2 | © @edje

The interesting fact is that nobody knows who the artist is. The name of the artists was never revealed. The city hall once told a journalist, the artist is a medical doctor from profession, and a sculpturer in his spare time. They also informed the journalist: a deal was made between the artist and the city council to not reveal the artist name and in return the city would get ownership of the piece of art.

This resulted in various speculations. One of them: our former queen "Beatrix van Oranje Nassau" is the artist and the model for the violinist is her late husband, prince Claus van Amsberg.

image: the violinist | © @edje

Whoever the artist is, and whoever the model was; I really like this piece. I also think the artist shall never be revealed. Let Amsterdam have our own Banksy :)

Anybody who is interested in art, and plans to visit Amsterdam, plan some time to meet the mysterious violinist. This guy can be found in our city hall 'Stopera' at Waterlooplein. You may extend your musical experience, since the Stopera has a concert hall as well and is the home for the Dutch National Opera and Ballet.

violinist: Janine Jansen | source youtube


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I like the pictures. They remind me of the movie "Jumanji".

How cool these pictures triggers something with you; Always great to read when this happens ; The reason why we write and share :)

My first thought was: What is Freddy Krueger doing there?

I guess that's what happens with a movie mind, specialized in horror ;>)

Nice write up, cool pictures and a pretty awesome piece of art!

Groeten uit Portugal,


  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Hahahaha, Freddy :) Maybe actually, who knows :)
Portugal: I suppose vacation? Enjoy

I guess you haven't read my blog in a long long time ;>)
I posted about Portugal several times since about half a year now and am in the process of finding a house and a plot of land here, so it's a little more than holiday, haha

Owww wow, nice! Hope you are succeeding!

Art being given to the public domain! This is cool, to be honest :)

I can't agree more! Artists giving something back to the community is honourable for sure.

Should be more common, TBH.

Yeh, agree as well.

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Hmmm I wonder why the artist wanted anonymity... Hmmm. My guess is it's either they thought it wasn't their best art or they didn't want to be identified as working with the government. Or they just didn't want to be criticized or praised for it. 🤔

Why is it coming out of the floor though...

Why is it coming out of the floor though...

That is a good question. I read somewhere, this piece was first in water and then moved to our city hall. Maybe because Amsterdam is below sea level? Maybe because music can come from deep? Maybe because music can come from everywhere, also from below? Who knows :)

I wonder why the artist wanted anonymity

Maybe because the artist just doesn't want to be known? I know artists who are quite afraid of becoming a public figure. One of the stories is that our former Queen Beatrix is the artist; In that case I can imagine she doesn't want to be knows, since she didn't want to be in public in private terms.

Yeah it's hard to be popular, no more privacy...

On my first visit during ADE2015 my sister and I were wandering around and we stumbled upon the sculpture. However, it was at night, and we never realized this was the city hall.

Great to learn about the awesome story behind the sculpture.



Great one... thanks a lot sharing this...

You're welcome.

Beautiful music
I love music my friend @edje
Thanks for sharing this art
I appreciate your traveling.

Enjoy the music.

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