The sculpture was designed by Svend Wiig Hansen and installed on 28 October 1995. The artist’s original idea for the location of the sculpture was Grenen, north of Skagen.
Men at Sea is a 9 meter tall white monument of four seated males, located west of Esbjerg next to Sædding Beach on the southwest coast of Denmark. Located opposite the Fisheries and Maritime Museum, it is one of the area’s major tourist attractions, and is a landmark of Esbjerg.
The number of figures sitting on the shore is precisely four is because Wiig Hansen found the number harmonious – more in accordance with the basic sculptural concept of “pure” mankind than, for example, three or five. In clear weather the bodies, sitting there like unfurled sails, can be seen 10 kilometres away.
The identical heads, which with their inscrutable and unfathomable expressions gaze out towards Skallingen and the entrance to the harbor, also contribute greatly to the glimpse you get of the supernatural – a hint of the divine.
Wiig Hansen has portrayed this encounter by creating a universal sculpture that has the mood of a temple, of an acropolis – a sculpture with a sacred aura to it. This sacred aura is attained by the rigid appearance of the human figures
The legs are like the columns of a Greek temple. The lower legs have been made so long precisely so as to achieve this columnlike effect. The upper legs are short in proportion.