Monumental Berlin (K.P.M.) porcelain plaque of Summer by H. Prell

By KPM, Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (German, founded 1763)

£180,000

This magnificent work of porcelain by K.P.M depicts the Norse god Summer triumphing over winter giants, after a lost mural painting by Hermann Prell.

 

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Description

This magnificent work is a Berlin, K.P.M., painted porcelain piece of monumental proportions, which depicts a mythological scene from Norse tradition, inspired by the Medieval text, The Edda, of Summer, as a war-god, triumphing over the winter giants.

It is made after a large mural painted in the throne room of the Prussian Embassy in Rome (in the Palazzo Caffarelli) by Hermann Prell, commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II himself, and is one of three plaques - the original murals of which have all been lost. Thus, this beautiful and important work of art survives only in a design-drawing in the Museen der Stadt in Dresden (museum no. 1989/k 237.), a study for one of the Valkyries from 1892, illustrations made of the original, and this superb piece.

Hermann Prell was a highly sought after painter of large mythological, allegorical, and historical works in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A professor at the Dresden academy of fine arts, specializing in large murals, he was a particularly popular figure in Wilhelmine Germany. Many of his works were regrettably lost in the fire-bombing of Dresden in 1945, and these murals were also destroyed at the end of the war, having been transported to Berlin in 1918, and kept in the cellars of the Foreign Ministry on Wilhelmstrasse.

This beautiful work depicts the god of Summer, in radiant golden armour in the form of warrior-god, victorious in battle over the giants on the right who represent winter. Accompanied by a host of Valkyries on pure-white horses, he leads the charge that sees the withered, bearded, and old giants scattered and cast from their rocky peak. It is finely painted, and beautifully composed, with recognisable characters and elements from Norse mythology.

The plaque bears the impressed sceptre and KPM mark. It is also signed and dated in the lower left corner ‘Copiert nach Prof. H. Prell von L. Scherf 1899’, and the reverse is inscribed in blue ‘Sommer’ nach Prof. H. Prell’.

Plaque: height 36cm, width 97cm
Framed: height 53cm, width 115cm, depth 7cm

 

Details

Artist / Maker
By KPM, Konigliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (German, founded 1763)
Country of Origin
German
Date of Manufacture
1899
Period
Late 19th Century
Style
Academic, Figurative Art, History Painting, Mythological
Material
Porcelain
Colour
Multi-coloured

Dimensions

Height
53 cm / 20.9 inches
Width
115 cm / 45.3 inches
Depth
7 cm / 2.8 inches

Reference:
16935

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