The Monumentalization of an Empire

The exhibition in the German Historical Museum commemorates one of the most influential artists of his era, Reinhold Begas. As creator of some of Berlin’s greatest monuments, such as the Neptune -Fountain and the National -Monument, and as portraitist of many famous -individuals, he shaped the visual world of the German Empire. The exhibition begins with the artist’s early years in Berlin, describes his stays in Rome where he developed the “Neo-Baroque” style, and provides insight into his studio and portrait work. A main section deals with Begas’ memorials and monuments for Berlin, commissioned by three Kaisers, and examines their politically motivated destruction after the Second World War in East and West Germany.The exhibition aims to reawaken public awareness of this important artist of his time. On display are 235 sculptures, paintings, photographs and documents, most of them never shown before, which provide an impressive overview of Begas’ life and oeuvre. At the same time, they reveal the political iconography of the imperial age and a broad panorama of the history of art and culture in Berlin.