Journal ARS 53 (2020) 1
The Artwork Mourns – the Artwork Praises. Ludwig Anzengruber‘s Tomb and Monument in Vienna in the European Context
At Michelangelo’s tomb in S. Croce, Florence (previously on his catafalque), personifications of the arts appear for the first time to honour an artist, and with the statuette holding the personification of the “Pittura” (formerly the “Scultura”) in its hands, the allusion to an artwork by the deceased artist is also explicitly present at the tomb for the first time. Initially only attribute of a personification, in the 19th century the work of art can rise to an independently acting figure, who alongside or instead of personifications, geniuses, muses mourns its creator in the tomb or praises him in the monument. A young countrywoman, who generally stands for the popular work of Ludwig Anzengruber, but also means a concrete stage figure, laments the deceased poet at the tomb in Vienna’s Central Cemetery. In the monument to Ludwig Anzengruber on Vienna’s Schmerlingplatz, the statue of Anzengruber encounters the “Steinklopferhans”, perhaps Anzengruber’s most popular stage figure. In both works – in the tomb as well as in the monument – the literary figures step out of their “frames” (Anzengruber’s plays), unfolding their own life and activity independent of their literary context. The Anzengruber Tomb and the Anzengruber Monument are works by Hans Scherpe, who has received little attention in art historical literature. In the present contribution, the innovative aspects of these works will be examined and placed in the context of European memorial culture.