Arnaldo Pomodoro | Scatola II

Artist: Arnaldo Pomodoro (1926)
Art work: Scatola II (1963/1966) 
Collection: Rotterdam municipal collection
Acquisition: Doelen percentage scheme for art


On January 7, 1966, City Hall granted the Doelen architects permission to purchase a work by Milanese artist Arnaldo Pomodoro. Having previously studied architecture, the former goldsmith made name for himself as an interesting sculptor during the 1950s. He gained acclaim at the Biennales of Sao Paulo (1963) and Venice (1964). Pomodoro became particularly famous for his series of 'spheres': large round 'balls' with a diameter of over 120 centimeters. In 1967, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen acquired his Sfera No. 6 (1963).

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Commissie Stadsverfraaiing (‘committee for urban beautification’) had already proposed de Doelen acquire one of his works two years prior to that acquisition. The Marlborough Galleria d'Arte in Rome happened to have a work on offer: Scatola II (1965), a large bronze box ('scatola'), measuring 80x70x20 centimeters. Pomodoro would go on to create an extensive series of smaller and larger 'boxes'. Scatola II went for a mere $3200 at the time, and thanks to the mediation of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, a further ten percent discount was negotiated, to be deducted from the remaining percentage scheme budget. The city government’s art department gave a positive recommendation to the college regarding the proposal. As a result, de Doelen was able to acquire a unique artwork at a relatively low price. The sculpture was placed on a high marble pedestal in the foyer on the first floor. In 2018, Scatola II underwent restoration.