The Berlin Neues Museum – East tympanum

The Berlin Neues Museum – East tympanum

Restoration and conservation of the the east tympanum of the Neues Museum

Live allegorical figures are depicted in double life-size. The personification of the arts is represented (the art of building construction, the art of sculpture, the art of fine-art painting and the art of graphic art), which are being duly instructed by ‘history’ in the arrangement of the panel. The centre female figure depicts a relief of the symbol of ‘history’. Flanking her on each side, there are arranged alternately sitting and lying figures depicting the symbols of the visual fine arts (the art of building construction, the art of sculpture, the art of fine-art painting and the art of graphic art). The five figures are shown in high relief and are practically fully plastic in form throughout. The figures fill out the whole space of the Tympanum, in height as well as breadth. They extend upwards to the edge of the border of the upper ledge, and even partly over. For this reason, they have been over exposed to-, and unprotected from -the effects of the weather.

The restoration work included cleaning and the securing of the stucco, but primarily the constructive securing- and supplementation of long lost sculptural details. After the removal of numerous elder supplementations, the vacant spaces have been reconstructed in the style of the original finishing. War damage claimed a large part of the central figure and the head pf the symbol of the art of fine-art painting was lost. The whole scenario was able to be entirely reconstructed on the basis of a contemporary photograph.

Publication:

Thomas Lucker, Stuckrelief im Osttympanon, in: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin [Hrsg.], et al.: Das Neue Museum Berlin – Konservieren, Restaurieren, Weiterbauen im Welterbe. Leipzig: Seemann, 2009