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Genève
Genève (Canton)

Place de Neuve 3
(Le Grand Théâtre)

Statues et bustes au Grand Théâtre

Statues and Busts at the Grand Théâtre

Various sculptors
1879

Genève /  Statues et bustes au Grand Théâtre

Description

The Grand Théâtre de Genève is a majestic building, towering over Place de Neuve. In 1870 the project of building the new opera house for Genève was handed to architects Emile Reverdin and Gaspard André. Funds for the new theatre project were provided by Duke Charles of Brunswick's legacy to the city in 1873, out of which CHF 1.2 million were earmarked to build Geneva's future temple of operatic art. The municipal government voted to begin construction of the new theatre in 1874, on a 3,000 square metre plot granted by the State of Geneva and formerly occupied by the moats of the ancient city wall, according to plans drawn up by the architect Jacques-élysée Goss. The first stone was laid in 1875, and the official inauguration took place in 1879 with a performance of Rossini's William Tell opening the season.

In front of the building is spacious perron, with four large marble statues, depicting (from left to right):

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
I

Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Tragédie - Tragedy
la Tragédie - Drama

Signed: Martinetti 1878
Sculptor: Giacomo Martinetti

II

Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Danse - Dance
la Danse - Dance

Signed: cvstor 78
Sculptor: Joseph-Antoine Custor

III

Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Musique - Music
la Musique - Music

Signed: j. salmson 1878
Sculptor: Jean-Jules Salmson

IV

Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Comédie - Comedy
la Comédie - Comedy

Signed: c. iguel 1878
Sculptor: Charles Iguel

 

The top of the façade features a pediment bearing the coat of arms of Geneva, crowned with an allegorical figure representing the Genius of the Arts (Génie des arts), supported by two groups of sculptural figures. The model for this fronton is made by Charles Morice, the sculpting was executed by Dieterle and Barthez.

Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Comédie - Comedy Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Comédie - Comedy Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Comédie - Comedy
Genève - Statues au Grand Théâtre - la Comédie - Comedy

Under the entablature, eight busts of great composers adorn the front and side façades:

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)

EAST SIDE
left to right
Facing Place de Neuve Facing Rue François-Diday
1

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - François-Adrien Boieldieu
François-Adrien Boieldieu
Rouen 1775 - Varennes-Jarcy, Essonne, 1834
French composer
(Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Charles Iguel

2

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Salzburg 1756-Wien 1791), prolific and influential composer of the Classical era (Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Charles Iguel

3

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Gioachino Rossini
Gioachino Rossini
Pesaro 1792 - Paris 1868
Italian composer
(Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Gustave Roux

4

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti
Bergamo 1797 - Bergamo 1848
Italian composer
(Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Charles Louis Menn

WEST SIDE
right to left
Facing Place de Neuve Facing Boulevard du Théâtre
5

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Giacomo Meyerbeer
Giacomo Meyerbeer
born as Jakob Liebmann Beer
Tasdorf (Rüdersdorf), 1791 - Paris 1864
German opera composer
(Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Hugues Bovy

6

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Bonn 1770 - Wien 1827
German composer and pianist (Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Bertheauld

7

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Jean Jacques Rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Genève 1712 - Genève 1778
Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century (Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Auguste Frédéric Dufaux

8

Genève - Bustes au Grand Théâtre - Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria von Weber
Eutin 1786 - London 1826
German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic (Wikipedia).

Sculptor: Joseph-Antoine Custor

Annotation

The Grand Théâtre was built 1875-1879 after plans of the architect Jacques-Elisée Goss. The building was financed by the legs of Duke Charles de Brunswick (see his monument).

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Bust
  • Comedy (allegory)
  • Composer
  • Custor, Joseph-Antoine
  • Dance
  • Donizetti, Gaetano
  • Drama (allegory)
  • Dufaux, Auguste Frédéric
  • Iguel, Charles
  • Martinetti, Giacomo
  • Menn, Charles Louis
  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
  • Music (allegory)
  • Rossini, Gioachino
  • Rousseau, Jean Jacques
  • Roux, Gustave
  • Salmson, Jean-Jules
  • Theatre / Opera House
  • Weber, Carl Maria von
  • Locatie (N 46°12'5" - E 6°8'34")

    eXTReMe Tracker
    Item Code: chge006; Photograph: 5 June 2013
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt