The Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein, the friends’ group for the Gemäldegalerie and Skulpturensammlung, has seized the opportunity to acquire an important terracotta figure by the French sculptor Pierre Puget (1620–1694). The work is a maquette or model for the larger than life-sized marble statue of St. Alessandro Sauli in the Santa Maria Assunta di Carignano church in Genoa. The Kulturstiftung der Länder (Germany’s national arts council) and the Rudolf-August Oetker Foundation were involved in the acquisition’s funding.
The planned purchase of Pierre Puget’s model is just the latest act in a long tradition of patronage by the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein on behalf of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. In a statement, Tessen von Heydebreck, chair of the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein, said: 'Ever since its founding 118 years ago, the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein has striven to rally its members, other art-lovers, and friends to assist the Skulpturensammlung in significantly expanding its collection of Baroque clay maquettes. The artworks traditionally remain the property of the association and are presented as permanent loans to the two museum collections it supports. The maquette is the 166th sculpture in the association’s collection. Combined with the 111 paintings in its possession, the association’s collection now contains 277 artworks of the highest artistic calibre’.