Statues - Hither & Thither

Germany
Weimar
Stadt Weimar

Thüringen

Burgplatz

Ildefonso-Brunnen

Ildefonso Fountain

Castor and Pollux

Kunstgießerei Lauchhammer
1796

Weimar /  Ildefonso-Brunnen   Weimar /  Ildefonso-Brunnen

Description

Fountain with a sculpture group in antique Greek style showing two idealised nude youths, both wearing laurel wreaths. The young men lean against each other, and to their left on an altar is a small female figure, usually interpreted as a statue of a female divinity. She holds a sphere, variously interpreted as an egg or pomegranate.
The group is now accepted as Castor and Pollux, offering a sacrifice to Persephone. Such an identification is based on the right-hand figure, who holds two torches, one downturned (on a flower-wreathed altar) and one upturned (behind his back), and on identifying the woman's sphere as an egg (like that from which the Dioscuri were born). The interpretation was supported by Goethe, who owned a cast of the group.

Weimar - Ildefonso-Brunnen

Annotation

The group is a cast iron copy of a marble group from the first century AD. Its findsite is unknown, but by 1623 it was in the Ludovisi collection at the Villa Ludovisi in Rome. In 1724 the group was offered to Philip V of Spain. Philip's second wife Isabella Farnese (from the Farnese of Parma, which had a history of sculpture collecting) acquired it at above-market price for him and had it sent to the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia). From there it came into the Prado (catalogue number Catalogue Nr. E.28).

The Weimar copy is manufactured by the foundry of Lauchhammer. Displayed from 1796 near the Holzhalle of the Rotes Schloß (Red Castle). In 1824, the architect Clemens Wenzel Coudray (1775-1845) had it moved and set on a fountain in front of the Burgplatz, where it still stands today. Restored in 1994/95.

Sources & Information

Tags

Locatie (N 50°58'45" - E 11°19'53")

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Item Code: deth046; Photograph: 7 August 2013
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