The man with the hat in Knokke


In the coastal city of Knokke you can find this remarkable piece of art by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon (1934 – 2005).


The small statue is called ‘La Mer, ce grand sculpteur’ or 'The Sea, the Great Sculptor'. It proposes a man with a hat, sitting on the beach. The use of a hat is typical for Folon's work. Folon was inspired by the work of 'RenĂ© Magritte'. 'The man with the hat'. However, the character also look a lot like 'Inspector Maigret' from the books of writer 'Georges Simenon'.


The name of the work is inspired by the art essay of 'Marguerite Yourcenar', ''The Time, the Great Sculptor'. The location of statue on a breakwater makes the character go under water twice a day, resembling a drowning man.

You can find the sculpture on the beach in Knokke.