According to a family story (narrative), the woman who has been looking out over the sea for years is Martijntje Roeleveld, but is this correct? Peter Roeleveld finds out about this Scheveningen family story:
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It was just before corona started to rule our lives when a distant relative told me that he went to the Scheveningen Fisherman’s Monument every year, together with his brothers. Their mother used to take them with her and then she told them that the fisherman’s wife was their grandmother Martijntje Roeleveld. Without detracting from the beautiful tradition of the brothers, I still wanted to know whether this story was actually true.
In search of Martijntje I found a book that describes the period 1911-1364 of her life. A sketch of her can be seen on the book cover; a strong, attractive and independent fisherwoman. She married Arie Roeleveld and on 10 age she loses him to the sea. In the harbor of IJmuiden, Arie falls between two stools and is not found in the following days.
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Immediately the resemblance comes to me with the story behind ‘De Scheveningen Vissersvrouw’, upwards. In the days after her husband went missing, Martijntje also had to stand desperately looking out over the sea. His body is found after a month. Martijntje was able to bury him, mourn him and then close this terrible event together with her children.
Martijntje herself died in 1882. The image was taken between 1982 and 1982 created. She cannot therefore have been the model for the statue. There is, however, some resemblance between the image of the fisherman’s wife and the sketch by Martijntje. That alone was enough for me to continue my search.