Weekly verses sculpted

Weekly verses sculpted

28 January 2024 Sebastian Jüngel 561 views

Rik ten Cate created 52 bronze sculptures for the verses of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical Soul Calendar. They can be seen in an exhibition at the Goetheanum from 23 February to 28 April 2024.


Ever since he trained as a Waldorf teacher and sculptor Rik ten Cate has felt an inner connection with Rudolf Steiner’s weekly verses: for 40 years now, the artist has studied the weekly verses in both German and Dutch. He says, ‘It impresses me how the verses describe in only a few lines what is going on in the world and how I as a soul am connected with that.’

Five years ago, Rik ten Cate woke up one morning with the idea to express each of the weekly verses in sculptural form. He read the verse, as he had always done. ‘I remain silent inwardly and wait. It is an act of grace whether or not something happens. If it does, it could be music, or a picture, a colour, a movement. Or a mood, a gesture. With this impression I go into my studio, take the sculpting wax and let my hands work with it – I’m an observer myself in this.’ This process can last for several days.

In the end the form is 20 to 25 cm in size. He observes, ‘If it has worked out, I cast it in bronze, if it hasn’t, I try to do it differently.’ If the cast is only aesthetically pleasing but does not really go with the verse, he melts it down again – and the creative process starts from the beginning.

After three years all 52 Soul Calendar verses were expressed in sculptural form and ready to view on a table or in an exhibition, for instance at the Elisabeth Vreede House in The Hague (NL). ‘My ideal is that the verses can all be taken in at once.’ There is an even easier way to achieve this: by looking at the pictures in the book Weekspreuken/Wochensprüche [weekly verses].


Exhibition Soul Gestures Through the Year, 23 February to 28 April, Goetheanum. Vernissage 22 February, 5 pm, Goetheanum

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sculptures/Weekspreuken Rik ten Cate