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April 8, 2012
From journal Christmas in Munich
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
November 3, 2006
I have been interested in sculpture since visiting the Kroller-Muller Museum and Sculpture Gardens in the Netherlands many years ago and being blown away by some wonderful works, including those by Henry Moore, sitting in the middle of a national park. Having since seen some of the best works by Michelangelo and other geniuses, I marvel at how these masterpieces can be created.
It was thus with some anticipation that I visited the Glyptothek. This is one of Munich's foremost museums, housing a large collection of sculptures. The landmark building is part of the oldest museum in the city and is fashioned after a Greek temple.This wonderful building was the work of Leo von Klenze who built this complex in 1816-34 to house Ludwig 1’s collection of Roman and Greek sculptures. Klenze designed not only the building but also the arrangement of the exhibits within. Its severe, imposing Ionic portico projects from a wall containing six large sculptures in niches.The Glyptothek contains sculptures dating from the archaic age (ca. 650 BC) to the Roman era. Among the most famous sculptures here are the "Barberini Faun" and the temple figures from Aegina. The Sleeping Satyr or Barberini Faun, is a marble copy of a bronze original, ca. 200 B.C. It is larger than life with a height of just over 7 ft.(2.15 m.) This statue was looted by the Romans during their conquests in Greece. It was found in the 17th century in the Mausoleum of Emperor Hadrian in Rome and was bought by the Barberini family and placed in their palace. The Barberinis probably sold the marble to Ludwig I of Bavaria during the 1700's when they sold much of their collection.The Archaic period pediment sculptures depicting warriors in battle at the First and Second Battles of Troy were retrieved from the ruined Temple of Aphaia at Aegina and brought to Munich in 1811. The impressive bodies of the soldiers stir passions even today. They should not be missed.I really enjoyed this museum and would have stayed longer but for the fact that there were two other museums on our list that day. Realistically, you could spend a few hours here very easily. Opening times are from 10am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Admission is €3 but only €1 on Sunday.Tel: 2892 7503 for more information.
From journal The Art and Culture of Munich