‘Madrid’ Sculpture

By Jan-Carel Koster

Bespoke sculpture

Commissioned by Waterweg Wonen, made by Sculptor Jan-Carel Koster. This 2nd sculpture is located on Kopenhagenlaan, under the Madrid flat. It is made of a more than 2½ meter high marble rock, so-called Rosso Portugalo. In this sculpture I want to reflect various items that Madrid is known for in a non-figurative sculpture.

Technical Information

Material:  Portuguese Marble
Measurementes:  H. 250  x W. 140 x D. 120 cm

Explanation of the sculpture

Jan-Carel explains:

The Bullfighting

“Why I used Portuguese Marble in particular can be traced back to the most (in)famous activity in Spain; bullfighting. This still happens frequently in Spain, but people are working to put a stop to this horrific activity. Since January 1, 2012, fighting is no longer allowed in the Catalonia region. So this is already a good start. Portugal, on the other hand, has had a ban for a long time; Fights may take place, but the bull may not be killed or tortured! In this respect they have long had a considerable advantage over the Spaniards who kill the bulls in every fight. By using Portuguese marble I want to show my appreciation for the respect they show for the animals and also disrespect to Spain for their unhumane behavior towards these living creatures. In the sculpture

I have included a landmark relating to bullfighting at the bottom. Not to maintain these fights, but precisely to make us aware of this humiliation of the bulls. When one looks at the Torero or as we call it Toreador, one thinks of a large, sturdy, graceful man with a Muleta (large red blanket). I have reflected this grace in this sculpture in an abstract flowing form that arises from a tight straight line that shows the hard side of what is happening.”


“Not only the tough bullfighter is graceful and graceful, but also the dancers that are known in Spain. Above all, this sculpture must be graceful and flowing, just like the dancers in Madrid.”

12 grapes

“As a third reference to another beautiful recognition of Spain and Madrid in particular, I quickly come to the architecture and the many traditions. What is very famous is the bell during the celebration of New Year’s Eve in the central square in Madrid, the “Puerta del Sol”. This often appears on TV during the last chimes of the year, so that the last seconds of the past year can be seen in Spain. Traditionally, during the last 12 chimes of the old year, one grape is eaten for each chime of the clock. This tradition is said to bring good luck in the new year. It is precisely this tradition that I want to bring to the Hoofdstedenbuurt in Vlaardingen to focus our thoughts on this while viewing this sculpture. In the sculpture you can see 12 grapes depicted in the middle.”


“The undulating movement of the sculpture is symbolic of the origin of the name Madrid. The name originated because the Moors were in charge of this area in the 9th century. At that time they built a small palace along the river “Manzares” which they called “Al-Majrit”, which means water source. The current name Madrid comes from this place and this Arabic term. I find this Arabic origin particularly appropriate because a mixed and social life takes place in the Hoofdstedenbuurt.”

Portugalo Rosso quarry

Rosso Portugalo

The Portuguese marble Rosso Portogallo is a calcitic marble of high quality and durability. In pink – salmon shades with black – grey veins, it conveys warmth and comfort wherever it is applied. It is mined in Portugal and imported in large quantities in the form of blocks
“As any father that is concerned to send one of his children to an unknown journey, I was a little concerned about the Rosa marble block I have sent you, as it was our first for this specific type of job and as you know, certainly as well as I do, a block can always have a surprise and there is always the chance of a crack in the middle of it and precisely where you less need it…

But I see now that my “boy” did well and there was no motive for any worries. Ironically, almost 9 month after we have sent it to Nijkerkerveen, I can see that you have treat “him” very well and with great skills !!

You did a marvelous job and I hope to see it personally one of these days. Congratulations!”

Luis F. Santana


Are you interested in having a bespoke sculpture made for you?
There is a wide variety of possibilities, from type of (gem)stones used, dimensions and personalizations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Jan-Carel to find out what’s possible.
Beeldhouwer Jan-Carel Koster _ Wash-Basin 5


Jan-Carel Koster

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