Statues - Hither & Thither

Germany
Frankfurt am Main
Stadt Frankfurt am Main

Hessen

Opernplatz
(Alte Oper)

Skulpturen am Alten Oper

Sculptures at the Old Opera House

Various sculptors
1880

Frankfurt am Main /  Skulpturen am Alten Oper

Description

The 'Opernhaus', built 1873-1880 after designs of Architect Lucae (d. 1877), shows a extensive program of sculptures, allegorical figures as well as statues and portraits of composers and poets.

Front façade:

  1. Tympan, sculpted by Kaupert.
    In the center are the Three Graces, Euphrosyne (cheerfulness), Aglaia (splendor) and Thalia (good luck). To the left a representation of comedy: two putti leading a reluctant panther to Bacchus, who reaches a drinking bowl to his favorite animal. Bacchus sits next to Jocus as representative of the joke. The left corner is filled with cymbals and Thyrsus staffs, the devices of the Bacchus cult. On the right side of the pediment the tragedy is depicted by the genius of death with lowered torch and at his feet a tragedy mask. Next to the genius sits a depressed looking woman, a symbol of guilt, in whose lap a young woman has thrown herself, and fury lurking. In the corner is a Sphinx, a symbol of mystery.

    On the tympan is a bronze sculpture of Pegasus, who is also called the horse of the muses or poets, reconstruction by Georg Hüter of the lost sculpture by Brunow and two groups of three dancing genii around a candelabra, reconstructed after the originals sculpted by Hundrieser (in total, there are six identical groups). There were on the originals gas torch burners, which were lit on festive occasions.

    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Pegasus
    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Three genii around a candelabra
    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Three Graces with Comedy and Tragedy

  2. Four statues in niches, see below.
  3. Loggia

    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Recha
    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Erato in a quadriga with panthers
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    Isabella
    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Rhine and Main

  4. The balcony of the loggia is flanked by two statues, added after the opening donated by Consul General Hermann Mumm von Schwarzenstein:
    1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Frankfurt am Main 1749-Weimar 1832), German writer and polymath; considered by many to be the most important writer in the German language and one of the most important thinkers in Western culture (Wikipedia).
      sculpted by Herold.
    2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Salzburg 1756-Wien 1791), prolific and influential composer of the Classical era (Wikipedia)..
      sculpted by Hundrieser.

    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Goethe
    Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
    Mozart

Back façade

Tympan with a relief showing the fate of mankind, sculpted by Rumpf.
In the center are the three Roman goddesses of fate, Lachesis, Clotho and Atropo. To the left and right are the different stages of human life depicted: Love, represented by Cupid and Psyche, Childhood, Adolescence, and to the right of the Fates: Manhood, and Death.

On top of the tympan is a group showing Poetry teaching a genius, sculpted by Schierholz.

Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
Poetry teaching a genius

Frankfurt am Main - Skulpturen am Alten Oper
The fate of mankind

16 statues in niches:

    South:
  1. Poesie / Poetry, woman with lyra, sculpted by Gustav Herold.
  2. Tanz / Dance, woman with tambourin, sculpted by Gustav Herold.
  3. Komödie / Comedy, woman with mask, sculpted by Gustav Herold.
  4. Tragödie / Tragedy, woman with mask and club, sculpted by Gustav Herold.

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    East:

  5. Geschichte / History, woman with book, sculpted by Petry.
  6. Sage, woman with scroll and eagle, sculpted by Petry.
  7. Volkslied / Folk song, woman with mandoline, sculpted by Schwindt.
  8. Märchen / Fairy tale, woman with cat, sculpted by Schierholz.

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    West:

  9. Wahrheit / Truth, nude woman, sculpted by Herold.
  10. Eitelkeit / Vanity, woman with right hand at her head, sculpted by Petry.
  11. Frohsinn / Cheerfulness, woman with staff, sculpted by Petry.
  12. Ehre / Honour, woman with laurel wreath, sculpted by Petry.

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    North:

  13. ??, woman with sword.
  14. Terpsichore, muse of dance, woman with tambourin, sculpted by Schwindt.
  15. Musik / Music, woman with flute, sculpted by Eckhardt.
  16. Rache / Revenge, woman without attribute, sculpted by Schwindt.

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24 Portrait medaillons of componists and poets

On the long sides two series of three, on the front a four medaillons with in the center an emblem, in the quarter circles on both sides of the foyer (SE and SW) each three, and 2 on the back side, with an emblem in the middle.
Designed by various artists.
    South
  1. Schiller - Friedrich von Schiller (Marbach am Neckar 1759 - Weimar 1805), German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright (Wikipedia).
  2. Beethoven - Ludwig van Beethoven (Bonn 1770 - Wien 1827), German composer and pianist, (Wikipedia)..
    emblem
  3. Goethe - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Frankfurt am Main 1749-Weimar 1832), German writer and polymath; considered by many to be the most important writer in the German language and one of the most important thinkers in Western culture (Wikipedia).
  4. Lessing - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Kamenz 1729 - Braunschweig 1781), German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist, and art critic (Wikipedia).

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    Southeast

  5. Gluck - Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck (Erasbach bei Berching, Oberpfalz) 1714-Wien 1787), opera composer of the early classical period (Wikipedia).
  6. Meyerbeer - Giacomo Meyerbeer, , born as Jakob Liebmann Beer (Tasdorf (now a part of Rüdersdorf), 1791 - Paris 1864), German opera composer (Wikipedia).
  7. Wagner - Richard Wagner (Leipzig 1813 - Venezia 1883), German composer, conductor, theatre director and polemicist primarily known for his operas (Wikipedia).

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    Southwest

  8. Grillparzer - Franz Grillparzer (Wien 1791 - Wien 1872), Austrian writer who is chiefly known for his dramas (Wikipedia).
  9. Kleist - Heinrich von Kleist (Frankfurt an der Oder 1777 - Berlin 1811), German poet, dramatist, novelist and short story writer (Wikipedia).
  10. Shakespeare - William Shakespeare (Stratford-upon-Avon 1564 - id. 1616), English poet and playwright (Wikipedia)..

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    East

  11. Cherubini - Luigi Cherubini (Firenze 1760 - Paris 1842), Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France (Wikipedia).
  12. Spontini - Gaspare Spontini (Maiolati, Ancona, 1774 - Maiolati 1851) was an Italian opera composer and conductor (Wikipedia).
  13. Liszt - Franz Liszt (Salzburg 1756-Wien 1791)
    Hungarian prolific and influential composer of the Classical era (Wikipedia)..
  14. äschylos - Aeschylus (c. 524/525 - 455/456 BC), he first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed (Wikipedia).
  15. sophokles - Sophocles (c. 497/6 - 406/5 BC), one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived (Wikipedia).
  16. euripides - Euripides (c. 480 – 406 BC), one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (Wikipedia).

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    West

  17. Auber - Daniel Auber (Caen 1782 - Paris 1871) French composer (Wikipedia).
  18. Boieldieu - François-Adrien Boieldieu (Rouen 1775 - Varennes-Jarcy, Essonne, 1834), French composer (Wikipedia).
  19. Mehul - Étienne Méhul (1763 - 1817), French composer, "the most important opera composer in France during the Revolution" (Wikipedia).
  20. Corneille - Pierre Corneille (1606 - 1684), French tragedian (Wikipedia).
  21. Moliere - Molière stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Paris 1622 - id. 1673), French playwright and actor (Wikipedia)..
  22. [Racine] - Jean Racine (La Ferté-Milon 1639 - Paris 1699) French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France (Wikipedia).

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    North

  23. Lope de Vega - Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio (Madrid 1562 - Madrid 1635), Spanish playwright and poet (Wikipedia).
    emblem
  24. Calderon - Pedro Calderón de la Barca y Barreda González de Henao Ruiz de Blasco y Riaño (Madrid 1600 - Madrid 1681), Spanish dramatist, poet and writer (Wikipedia).

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N.B. The attribution to the different sculptors is followed after Mohr. Stubenvoll gives in his article of 1982 a different list:

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Erato
  • Euripides
  • Fairy tale
  • Fate
  • Fictional character
  • Folksong (allegory)
  • Gluck, Christoph Willibald von
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
  • Graces (The Three)
  • Grillparzer, Franz
  • Herold, Gustav
  • History (allegory)
  • Honour
  • Hundrieser, Emil
  • Hüter, Georg
  • Isabella (Schiller)
  • Kaupert, Gustav
  • Kleist, Heinrich von
  • Krüger, Franz
  • Lachesis
  • Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim
  • Liszt, Franz
  • Lope de Vega, Félix
  • Main (personification)
  • Méhul, Étienne
  • Meyerbeer, Giacomo
  • Moirai
  • Molière
  • Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
  • Music (allegory)
  • Panther
  • Pegasus
  • Petry, Heinrich
  • Poetry (allegory)
  • Psyche
  • Putto with candelaber
  • Racine, Jean
  • Recha (Lessing)
  • Revenge (allegory)
  • Rhine (personification)
  • River god/goddess
  • Rumpf, Anton Karl
  • Sage (allegory)
  • Schierholz, Friedrich
  • Schiller, Friedrich von
  • Schwindt, Georg Wilhelm
  • Shakespeare, William
  • Sophocles
  • Spontini, Gaspare
  • Stages of Human Life
  • Terpsichore
  • Theatre / Opera House
  • Tragedy (allegory)
  • Truth
  • Vanity
  • Writer / poet
  • Location N 50°6'57" E 8°40'18"

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    Item Code: dehs224; Photograph: 28 September 2014
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt