Ludwig von Schwanthaler:
Sculpture ‘The Little Finger of Bavaria’ – with a book


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Limited, 999 copies | Numbered | Marked ‘Ludwig von Schwanthaler’ | Artificial bronze | Handmade | Patinated | Height 30 cm | Basis circumference 48 cm | Weight 7 kg | With a book

Ludwig von Schwanthaler: Sculpture ‘The Little Finger of Bavaria’ – with a book

For over 150 years Bavaria has been facing the Hall of Fame in Munich and looking over Theresienwiese - as the patron of the country as well as the protector of the Oktoberfest. A giant bronze statue by the sculptor Ludwig von Schwanthaler._x000D_


At the beginning of the 30s of the 19th century the Bavarian King Ludwig I announced a competition for the construction of the Hall of Fame. The 1st prize was awarded to Leo von Klenze as his design foresaw a colossal statue as a part of the architectural ensemble. When the colossal statue of Bavaria in front of the Hall of Fame after almost twelve years of construction was uncovered, the jubilation was great. The whole Munich was on its feet in order to experience this spectacle._x000D_

However, before the statue could be set up many obstacles had to be overcome, including some considerable technical difficulties: it was necessary to cast a 15.75 meter high metal sculpture. Besides the antique models like the Colossus of Rhodes, nothing was known on what a cast master could orient himself._x000D_

The successful overcoming of these technical challenges filled the head of the foundry, Ferdinand von Miller, with no small pride, so he left a part of Bavaria as a sign of his skill, and started casting it in smaller editions for the glory of the event: the first two joints of the little finger._x000D_

This small work of art was presented only to the chosen ones - and also to the at that time abdicated King Ludwig I. Not only Ferdinand von Miller was satisfied with the accomplished achievement - after all, it was the first colossal sculpture of modern times that was opened in Bavaria - even Ludwig von Schwanthaler, the court sculptor of Ludwig I and the creator of Bavaria, who had designed it and worked in close cooperation with Ferdinand von Miller during its construction, was proud of the work of his life and supported the special edition of the ‘Little Finger of Bavaria’. This ‘Little Finger’, the first visible expression of the satisfaction of the craftsman that has mastered his profession, is claimed to be an independent work of art until today._x000D_


Sculpture in polymer-bound bronze, patinated, cast by Fritz Albrecht in Altrandsberg. Limited edition of 999 copies, numbered and marked ‘Ludwig von Schwanthaler’. With the permission of the Munich Municipal Museum for the unique and limited edition. Height 30 cm. Circumference at the base of 48 cm. Weight 7 kg._x000D_


Art historian Ulrike Kretzschmar has researched the background history of Bavaria and the little finger. On the basis of it he has created a bibliophile book which contains many interesting facts, and each purchaser of the little finger gets it.

Read more

The term for the art movements that refer to ancient, mostly Greek models.

According to the current understanding, classicism is the epoch between 1750 and 1840 when the late Baroque was gradually replaced by the classically-orientated art. The great explorations of Greek art and architecture at that time awakened a true enthusiasm for antique models. The Glyptothek in Munich, the Panthéon in Paris, The New Guard House (Neue Wache) and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin are just a few examples of the revived classical style.

IThe leaders of the statuary art were such artists as Antonio Canova, Bertel Thorvaldsen, in Germany Johann Gottfried Schadow and Christian Daniel Rauch.

In painting, the outstanding representatives of this style are Jaques-Louis David or J.A.D. Ingres.

Bronze powder bound by a polymer. By special polishing and patination techniques the surface of the casting gets a look that corresponds to the bronze.

Designation for an art object (sculpture, installation), which is produced according to the will of the artist in multiple copies in a limited and numbered edition.

Artist's multiple contributed to "democratization" of art as the work was made available and affordable for a wider audience.

A plastic work of sculptural art made of wood, stone, ivory, bronze or other metals.

While sculptures from wood, ivory or stone are made directly from the block of material, for bronze casting a working model is prepared at first. Usually it is made of clay or other easily shaped materials.

The prime time of sculpture after the Roman antiquity was the Renaissance. Impressionism gave a new impulse to the sculptural arts. Also the contemporary artists, such as Jorg Immendorf, Andora, and Markus Lupertz enriched the sculpture with outstanding works.


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