Inge de Boer
The giant of Rotterdam
The newspapers named him Giant of Rotterdam, the tallest man in the world. Rigardus Rijnhout, born in Rotterdam (1922 -1959) measured 2.38 metres and wore shoe size 63. He weighed 230 kilos.
A pair of his brown, slightly worn shoes are laid out in the shoe museum in Waalwijk, on display for all to gawk at. The shoes are an oddity, while at the same time simply being an every day garment for an overgrown man. The Markiezenhof in Bergen op Zoom has a replica of these shoes.
Property: Boijmans-van Beuningen
Maria Roosen made “Slippers for the giant of Rotterdam,” two soft classic house slippers with an identical right and left foot, meaning that they’re shaped through wear. “Art provides answers for issues that life cannot resolve,” says Maria Roosen. The shoes are made, that’s the size. “Maybe it’s not the human but it’s life itself that determines the size of things.” And while not everything that life offers is soft, the size of the slipper brings to mind the overgrown man and slowly conjures images of a gnarled, bulky and fatigued foot. Maria Rossen makes sure the giant’s feet stay warm.
In the Old West, a statue has been erected (Herman Lamers). This Giant of Rotterdam stands close to the house on the Gouvernestraat where he lived his entire life. The statue is scaled to life so that you can compare your own stature to that of Rijnhout's enormous size. We won't forget him, this giant man.