Hommage an Beethoven / Homage to Beethoven

This homage to Ludwig van Beethoven realised by Markus Lüpertz in Bonn’s Stadtgarten is not a monument in the classical sense. The artist did indeed use traditional elements here, like the pedestal, for example, which is executed in no less than three tiers; nor is the design as a seated bronze figure unusual. But the body, which seems no more than a sketch, lacks both arms and a leg, the head is oversized. Set at an angle to the body, it looks towards heaven as if hoping to receive inspiration there, and the suggested laurel wreath, too, seems to be more of a caricature than a tribute to the composer. While this head bears no resemblance whatsoever to the familiar Beethoven portraits, the head presented at the feet of the figure on its own plinth, despite its blue face, is more likely to be interpreted as a Beethoven portrait, because it is crowned by the composer’s characteristic shock of hair. Hence, in this work Lüpertz is less interested in an honorific representation than in an intense emblem of the artistic genius’s inner struggles and turmoil and his dramatic interpretation.
The sculpture was initiated by the private Foundation for Art and Culture which loaned it to the City of Bonn for a period of ten years.


Markus Lüpertz

geboren in Reichenberg (heute Tschechien); lebt und arbeitet in Düsseldorf, Berlin und Karlsruhe.
Studium an der Werkkunstschule Krefeld, Studienaufenthalte im Kloster Maria Laach und an der Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
Übersiedlung nach Berlin.
Preis der Villa Romana, mit einjährigem Aufenthalt in Florenz.
Seit 1974
Gastdozentur an der Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe.
Professur an derselben.
Teilnahme documenta 7, Kassel.
Professur an der Sommerakademie, Salzburg.
Professur an der Staatlichen Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, der er von 1988–2009 als Rektor vorsteht.

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Stadtgarten/Alter Zoll, 53111 Bonn
Markus Lüpertz
height 2.70 metres
bronze, coloured finish
Object types
Monuments / memorials, Sculpture