DUQUESNOY, Jérôme, the Elder
(b. ca. 1570, Le Quesnoy, d. 1641, Brussel)

Manneken Pis

Bronze, height 61 cm
Near the Grande Place, Brussels

Manneken Pis is a small bronze fountain sculpture in Brussels designed by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder. The name means 'Little Man Pee' in Dutch. It depicts a little naked boy urinating.

The statue was placed in its current place in either 1618 or 1619. Manneken Pis stands a short distance from the Grand Place and the Brussels Town Hall. In the course of centuries, the little statue has become a vital part of culture and life in Brussels. Manneken Pis has numerous stories attached to it and whenever a festival, celebration, or party takes place, the little boy joins in. He has an outfit for every single occasion and is generally put into a different one several times per week. There are no less than 900 costumes that fit the statue. Some of those costumes are on display at the City Museum at the Grand Place.

Some costumes represent the colours of nations that visit Brussels, others resemble uniforms of certain occupations and professions. Occasionally a keg of beer is hooked up to the statue, resulting in the boy urinating beer.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.