Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Frankfurt

Goethe monument

Object: Goethe monument
Location: Goetheplatz
District: City centre
Artist: von Schwanthaler, Ludwig
Technique: Bronze, granite steps at the base
Date: 1802-1844
Occasion: Erected 22.10.1844.
On 22nd October 1844 the City of Frankfurt inaugurated the "Goethe Monument" created by sculptor Ludwig von Schwanthaler on former Stadtallee which was renamed Goetheplatz in 1849. In order to be able to commission a monument of Frankfurt's most famous son, funds were collected among the citizens. The first commission was given to Danish artist Bertel Thorwaldsen. As the latter did not do his duty, in 1841 Ludwig von Schwanthaler was contacted who was one of the most famous German sculptors at the time. Schwanthaler took no money for the design of the monument; he donated his fee of 5.000 guilders to the citizens of Frankfurt. The monument was cast in bronze and erected on the 22nd of October 1844. From a cubic plinth with allegorical reliefs and epic scenes from Goethe's works rises the more-than-life-sized bronze statue in a standing pose. After having been badly damaged in WW II and buried at the site for protection, it was taken to the Liebieghaus in 1948. From 28th August 1952 - Goethe's birthday - until 2007 the classical memorial stood in Gallus-Anlage. When the Goetheplatz was re-designed, the freshly restored Goethe monument was put back in its accustomed place.