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Friday, September 24, 2010

Sculpture and Der Modelleur

"Jackpot!"



Every page I looked at, "JACKPOT!!!!!!!!!!"



The book is a loose leaf architecture portfolio from 1905/1906 called Der Modelleure. The photos may not look impressive here, but click on them for an enlarged view. That photo above shows two larger than life sized dragons on the facade. Not for the faint of heart.....
Click on the image to better see the bizarre fish people.

These aren't small, they are entire facades of buildings!
 The buildings of early 20th Century Berlin and Dresden must have been absolutely hallucinogenic to see. Art Nouveau in full bloom. Not tepid Art Nouveau of fainting lilies either, these buildings crawling with dragons, medusa heads, etc are perfectly in synch with the challenging music of Richard Strauss' Salome.

These photos are a treasure trove of architectural ceramic building facades in Berlin and Dresden because they show the architectural clay models before they were cut into blocks and fired. Some of the photos show finished work, some are of works in progress. The photos show how they conceived and laid out the masses of clay.

Invaluable references for anyone involved in recreating and repairing the terra cotta facades of historic buildings. ... Or just wondering how they did it.....

The photos of these often enormous and beautifully detailed works also blow big holes through our contemporary notions of what "ceramic sculpture" can be, i.e. cute, small and crudely made.

I'll be featuring more images from this archive under the tag heading Der Modelleur.

4 comments:

Sherrie Y said...

Are the fish people guarding a water wheel? I'm not sure I've ever seen a fountain with a water wheel in the middle of it....

Theresa Cheek said...

Nice to see a side of Nouveau with some bite in it! You always see a few linear drawings of this style in art nouveau books, but I have not seen the real deal till these! Nice.

Karin Corbin said...

Where did you find the folio? It is a real treasure. I would certainly have snagged it off the bookshelves at Powell's if I found it there.

Patrick Gracewood said...

Sherrie,
Yes that is a water wheel. Don't know if it was functional. Since this is Germany, it probably was...? Aren't the fish people wonderful, Scary and dreamlike?

Theresa,
You ain't seen nothing yet. Even the humorous sculptures have "teeth".

Karin,
The material is still in the family. I was loaned the portfolio by the grandson-in law, My goal was to digitize it as the newsprint is so fragile, think hundred year old newspapers.