Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bode Museum of Sculpture

Last Saturday John and I visited yet another of Berlin's astonishing state museums, the Bode. It contains sculpture from the Early Middle Ages to the late 18th century,
in an appropriately astonishing setting.
The main entrance hallway to the collection displays four 18th century sculptures that decorated the roof of the Villa Kameche before it was destroyed by bombing in the 2nd World War.
I asked John to pose in one of the initial rooms of  Medieval sculptures in front of a hinged, wooden alterpiece
and this Christ child from a Virgin and Child, c. 1290, German,
and a Reliquary Bust of a Female Saint from the Upper Rhine, c. 1300.
We were dazzled to find Byzantine mosaics from an apse from Ravenna showing Christ the Victor
 flanked by Archangels. This is Gabriel on the right,
 in timeless sandals.
 John liked this detail of a Roman sarcophagus from 270 AD.
 Then we entered the Romanesque rooms
which included a marble gambling game decorated with chariot races
and this gorgeous mid-6th century diptych of Christ and Mary, Mother of God.
John loved this 10th century AD ivory Relief Panel depicting the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste.
In the Medieval Italian rooms we were fascinated by the unusual wings of these 13th century angels from the workshop of Giovanni Pisano.
In a room of 16th century painted German retables and sculptures
I took a picture of this amazing detail from a winged altarpiece of Saints and the 14 Holy Helpers
and John this touching face from a scene of Calvary by Erasmus Grasser, c.1490.
I couldn't resist a shot of this gentleman carefully contemplating this processional figure of Christ on the Back of a Donkey, c. 1520/1530.
John caught Christ's calm, knowing face.
How beautiful is this late 15th century Virgin and Child in sandstone from Straßburg!
and this mid-11th century, Romanesque Descent from the Cross.
 At this point we had reached half-way through the first floor collection and passed
the rear monumental staircase,
to enter the Baroque and Neo-classical Italian rooms. Here's Antonio Canova's elegant Dancer, 1809/12.
John liked this weary looking Portrait Bust of a Lady, c. 1590 from Florence.
The first floor completed we decided it was definitely time for a break so we climbed the front monumental stairs to the bar/cafe
 for a well-deserved beer and glass of Reisling.
The second floor was a relief from the intensity of the first floor. It was much more filled with interesting curiosities. This Bust of a Youthful Prince, 1555/60 was one of the most memorable items.
John disavowed his photograph of Angels Playing Viola and Lute, 1490, claiming they looked too much like mimes for his comfort, but I like them.
I like them as much as these wonderful Angels Singing and Playing Musical Instruments of 1505.
We both fell in love with this Mary Immaculate from Munich, 1750/60.
I love to have a person in a picture for scale. Before we left the Bode, John asked me to stand, dwarfed, between these images of St. Sebastian and St. Florian, both from 1638/39.


  1. It all looks great, John! Glad to see you are having a wonderful vacation!

  2. Thanks, Gordana! It's so great to get away.

  3. is this all in berlin?

  4. All in Berlin. It's a great place to look at a lot of superb art of all places and times -- dozens of State Museums. We couldn't see them all in a month.