Sculptures

Not many sculptures by Achilles De Maertelaere are known. Nevertheless, it is clear that he had a certain talent in this field.
Achilles De Maertelaere also competed in 1912 for the Rome Prize in the category Sculptures. Which work he presented there is not yet known.
His best-known work is undoubtedly the monument he made in 1933 for the grave of the trade unionist Jan Samijn, in the Westerbegraafplaats in Gent. Finally, it is worth mentioning the two war memorials he made in the 1920s.
Some of the works are only known to us through (bad) old photographs.

Funeral monument to Jan Samijn - 1933
Funeral monument to Jan Samijn - 1933
Jan Samijn - 1933
Jan Samijn - 1933
The clock strikes 5 ! - 1933
The clock strikes 5 ! - 1933

Achilles Bentos designed the tomb for the Ghent trade unionist Jan Samijn, who died in 1933. The monument is located on the western cemetery of Ghent (Plein ACKE, row 15, no. 7).
The monument is on pedestal 84x116.5cm, signed below to the left of the statue with "Ach. Bentos D.M." and at the bottom left on the monument "Sculptor Bentos Gent". Bronze foundry is "Vindevogel Zwijnaerde", as mentioned on the picture below on the right.
The monument also carries, on the front, a copy of "De klok slaat 5 uur" (The clock strikes 5 o'clock), signed at the bottom right "Ach. Bentos D.M." and a portrait bust of Jan Samijn.
Achilles Bentos also made a plate for two other funerary monuments in the Westerbegraafplaats.

Oscar Verbeke - 1923?
Oscar Verbeke - 1923?
Joseph De Graeve - 1934?
Joseph De Graeve - 1934?
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Sint-Salvatorstraat Gent - 1921
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Sint-Salvatorstraat Gent - 1921
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Sint-Salvatorstraat Gent - 1921
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Sint-Salvatorstraat Gent - 1921

This monument in honour of the dead of World War I from the Ghent 8th district, is included in the list of the architectural heritage of Flanders. Achilles Bentos was responsible for the bronze relief. The work is signed "Ah. Bentos D.M.". Henri De Budt executed the work in bronze.

World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Gebroeders De Smetstraat Gent - 1921
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Gebroeders De Smetstraat Gent - 1921
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Gebroeders De Smetstraat Gent - 1921
World War I Commemoration Monument of 8th district, Gebroeders De Smetstraat Gent - 1921

This monument in honour of the dead of World War I from the 10th district of Ghent, is included in the list of the architectural heritage of Flanders. Achilles Bentos was responsible for the bronze low relief. The work is signed "Ah. Bentos". Richard Napoleon Ferbuyt carried out the work in bronze.

Compassion - plaster/bronze? - <1926
Compassion - plaster/bronze? - <1926
Compassion - plaster/bronze? - <1926
Compassion - plaster/bronze? - <1926
Nake woman - bronze - s.d. (Photo M. Parasie)
Nake woman - bronze - s.d. (Photo M. Parasie)
Naked woman seated - plaster - s.d. (Photo M. Parasie)
Naked woman seated - plaster - s.d. (Photo M. Parasie)

The sculpture to the left is probably a study for the monument to Jan Samijn (supra).

Crying child - plaster - s.d.
Crying child - plaster - s.d.

There are several photos known of Achilles De Maertelaere in his studio. Some of them show other work of Bentos : a seated man, a bull and an Indian head. For the time being, nothing more is known about these works.

Indian head - s.d.
Indian head - s.d.
The bull - s.d.
The bull - s.d.
Sitting workman - s.d.
Sitting workman - s.d.
Project for monument to Albert I - 1935
Project for monument to Albert I - 1935

Achilles De Maertelaere more than likely competed for the statue of King Albert I which, after his death in Marche-les-Dames in 1934, was to be erected at the Zuidpark in Ghent. Achilles De Maertelaere did not pass the commission, but the model we can see on one of the photographs from his studio clearly corresponds to a description made by Erik De Keukeleire (Gendtsche Tydinghen, 2005, p. 233): "A naive but moving interpretation is the upright statue of the king with his hand on his heart, the other one in the posture of taking an oath".

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