Sculpture Saturday: Mons, Belgium

Just behind the Town Hall in Mons, lies the Jardin du Mayeur (the Mayor’s Garden) a little haven of tree-lined peace right in the heart of the city. It was designed between 1930 and 1936 and was once a private garden but is now a park accessible to all.

Apart from the design and the century-old trees including copper beeches, lime trees, paulownia, horse-chestnut trees and other attractive plants, it contains Gober’s sculpture called The Ropieur (1937). The “Ropieur” (cheeky Mons street urchin) represents a child who splashes the water of its fountain on the passers-by, symbolising the rebellious attitude of the town’s children.

The Ropieur, Mons

Also in the garden is also a bust of Marcel Gillis, singer, poet and painter and the town’s favourite son. The sculpture is by Raoul Godfroid (1896-1977), also Belgium.

Marcel Gillis, Poet & Painter, Mons

The sculpture features a triangular rock with the bust of Gillis attached to the front. Under-neath the bust and etched on the rock is the name of the artist, his dates of birth and death, and his surname, etched to match his signature.

4 thoughts on “Sculpture Saturday: Mons, Belgium”

  1. It’s nice to see some photos of Belgium as we have spent some happy times there and hope we can do so again post-Covid. We have been to various parts of Belgium but so far not to Mons. This will encourage us to put it on the list!

    Apparently, as with Jérôme Duquesnoy’s Manneken Pis in Brussels, they dress up Le ropieur in various costumes. One can see certain affinities between the two works, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and it gives the lie to those who say the Belgians have no sense of humour. I love Belgium and its people, quiet, nice, civilised – and they also serve chocolates with coffee when you visit them in their homes!! That makes them wonderful people in my eyes.


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