Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg
Bildarchiv Foto Marburg is Germany's documentation center for art history. The archive contains around 1.7 million images. More...
Gallery of Special Image
Leo von Klenze – 150th anniversary of his death
The architect, painter and writer Leo von Klenze (1784-1864) came to prominence primarily due to his position as Court Architect to Ludwig I, King of Bavaria. His most important task was to redesign entire streets and squares in Munich, as well as individual buildings. Klenze designed the largely classicist buildings of Königsplatz, Ludwigstraße, the Glyptothek, the Haslauer-Block, the Ruhmeshalle hall of fame, the Alte Pinakothek and the Residenz, thereby creating the most significant architectural ensemble built in Germany between 1815 and 1870 – comparable to Schinkel's work in Berlin.
Many of his buildings are considered absolutely modern for their time, especially his museum buildings. For instance, the Glyptothek is not only seen as one of the most beautiful architectural creations in Europe, but its room arrangement and use of natural light also served as a model for many other museums in Europe. The Alte Pinakothek is another exemplary art museum created by Klenze.
Klenze purposely composed his buildings into the existing landscape or cityscape. In Munich, for example, he turned the natural escarpment above Therese's Green into a superelevated artistic marvel with the Ruhmeshalle crowning its summit, the stairs leading up and the colossal statue of Bavaria. He developed the Doric temple of Valhalla, with its monumental stairs reaching far into the valley below, out of the hilly landscape of the Danube Valley, and let the round structure of the Befreiungshalle crown the spur above the Danube Valley and Altmühltal, visible for miles around.
Klenze's buildings in Munich and elsewhere are documented in Bildarchiv Foto Marburg in many historically valuable photographs from the past 130 years. For instance, in photographs of the 1880s from the Filser Archive, color slides of 1941 before the destruction wrought by the Second World War, so-called Trümmeraufnahmen (photos of ruins) of 1946 and pictures taken before and after the war from various sources. The photo chosen here comes from the distinguished photographer Helga Schmidt-Glassner and offers a lovely view from the portico of the National Theater to the restored Königsbau of the Residenz, which Klenze did in 1826-1835, modeled on the forms of the renaissance palaces of Florence.