Schlüter Sculptures Originally at the Berlin Palace Move from the Bode-Museum to the Humboldt Forum


In mid-February eight surviving colossal figures from the workshop of Andreas Schlüter will be brought to the sculpture hall at the Humboldt Forum. They originally stood in the Schlüterhof, an inner courtyard at the Berlin Palace, and were amongst the few pieces that could fortunately be salvaged before the ruins of the palace were demolished with explosives in 1950. Four of these works have been on view in the domed hall at the Bode-Museum over the last few years. They will be the first of the sculptures to arrive at their new destination.

Six of the sculptures originally crowned the columns in front of the large portal to the courtyard. More than three metres high, they provided worthy decorative embellishments to the palace courtyard and portrayed a canon of ideal sovereign virtues. Meleager stands for heroism and the protection of a sovereign’s subjects; Apollo symbolises fostering art and science; and Mercury represents the support of trade and economics.

To protect the sculptures from harm caused by rain and frost, the rare originals will hereafter be presented in the two-storey sculpture hall at the eastern entrance of the Humboldt Forum. Shown together with other loans and architectural fragments, the most significant remnants of the Berlin Palace’s original sculpture are being reunited, very close to their historical location.

Copies that are true to the originals will, however, be displayed in the former positions in the reconstructed Schlüterhof, allowing the spatial relationships between the architecture and sculptures to come to life.