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The Song of Evil

print

Roel D’Haese
Geraardsbergen 1921 – Bruges 1996
1964
bronze
227 x 87 x 273 cm
Inventory number 3038

The Song of Evil by sculptor Roel D'Haese represents the fundamentally evil white Westerner. This horseman is a cruel figure, indifferent to suffering, war and death. Apathy as the greatest evil, as a modern form of barbarity, akin to the unscrupulousness of a cold-blooded murderer. The rider holds up his hands and turns his head away in a gesture of rejection towards the world. He refuses to recognise death and suffering. His spiritual cancer has spread to his body: his belly is ripped open, revealing a putrid inner self, and he has a fiercely venomous tail. His facial expression is pitiful, his gaze turned away indifferently towards the distance. D'Haese has represented the horse schematically, reducing it to its essential form. Its forelegs are wide apart as it refuses to take another step. Its neck is stretched and its mouth spread open in repulsion.

Turning point

The Song of Evil marks an important turning point in the oeuvre of D'Haese. It was the last bronze that he produced unassisted, from the earliest design to the casting of the bronze and the welding of the different components. It took him almost a year to complete and the project totally exhausted him.

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