Sculpture Journal

Dannecker’s Ariadne: from neoclassical temple to Victorian mantelpiece

Sculpture Journal (2017), 26, (2), 141–158.

Abstract

During the nineteenth century, Johann Heinrich von Dannecker’s marble sculpture Ariadne on the Panther (1803–14; today in the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt) was the most famous sculpture in Germany. Its installation in the private museum of the banker Simon Moritz von Bethmann in 1816 coincided with a travel boom after the end of the Napoleonic wars. Numerous travel accounts and guides described the statue and its display, focusing primarily on the red lighting and its rotating pedestal, both of which had been suggested by the sculptor. These two aspects of the display were retained in the Ariadneum, the second Bethmann museum, where the sculpture was exhibited from 1856. The fame of the Ariadne caused an explosion of souvenirs and small-scale reproductions. In Britain, the most popular was the version in Parian ware produced by Minton from 1847 which was paired with John Bell’s Una and the Lion.

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Author details

Roethe, Johanna