On 26 March 2020 at 08:12 | updated on 28 March 2020 at 18:20

Maximiliaan Lodewijk Van Lede (Netherlands) - the inventor of the "roller skates for the ground"

Maximiliaan Lodewijk Van Lede (Netherlands) - the inventor of the

In 1789 the Dutch Maximiliaan Lodewijk Van Lede invented the "roller skate for the ground". He was known above all for his talent as a sculptor...

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

Biography of Maximiliaan Lodewijk Van Lede (1759-1834)

Les patins de Maximiliaan Lodewijk van LedeMaximiliaan Lodewijk Van Lede was born on February 18, 1759 in Bruges (Belgium). He studied art at the Academy of Bruges and then worked for six years with the sculptor Lodewijk Lessuwe. Later he went to the school of Pieter Pepers for three years, where he wanted to improve his drawing skills.

From Bruges to Paris

In 1781 he decided to move to Paris to perfect his art in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Sculpture (now: Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts) under Joseph Benoit Suvée. This Belgian painter also had his roots in Bruges and fulfilled outstanding tasks in the Académie de France. For two years he practiced in the studio of Mono, the royal sculptor. Under his supervision he produced the marble busts of Frederik, the hereditary Prince of Prussia and Duke of Angoulême.

Later he went to Gonoy. He was polishing a statue that was nine feet high and held a torch in his hand. The statue stood on the balls of the foot and it looked like if she was going to rise to heaven. This bronze statue was exhibited at the Galifé Hotel. Afterwards he created a huge marble mermaid, a colossal bust of Bacchante, for which he got 8000 francs. In 1787 he received the second most important award for sculptures.

In 1789, at the age of 30, he invented "roller skates for the ground". In 1790, ee was quoted in the Almanac de Gotha. We owe this biographical discovery to Sam Nieswiski, author of Rollermania:

"M. Vanlede, sculptor and medalist of the Académie de Paris, invented, as he described them, roller skates of the ground, on which one can move forward as fast as with the conventional skates on the ice. "

From Paris to London: the recognition

Les patins de Maximiliaan Lodewijk van LedeHe left Paris as a victim of the French Revolution and lost works worth 50,000 francs.

To survive, he made ornaments, figures and arabesques for chimneys. But he also made other objects such as clocks. His creations and his talent were much admired by the English and also by the sculptor of the king. Van Lede visited him for a year to design the tomb of Doctor Johnson (Samuel Johnson). The work was exhibited in the church of Saint-Paul. He also made a small sculpture of General Elliot, Governor of Gibraltar.

Return to his homeland

Toward the end of his life he returned to his hometown and created other artworks for rich Englishmen. He lived there peacefully until his death on July 13, 1834. His contemporaries described him as a very eccentric person. With his invention of the roller skate, he set a milestone. 

Released  on 26 March 2020 - Read 7334 times

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Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

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