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Granite Bowl in the Berlin Lustgarden

Nationalgalerie, Berlin


The Berlin Cathedral in the left background of Hummel's painting was commissioned by Friedrich (II) the Great in 1747. Johann Boumann the Elder designed it in the Baroque style. Later, Karl Friedrich Schinkel designed the neoclassical facade (completed in 1822) depicted in Hummel's painting. This building was demolished in the 1890s and the cathedral on that same spot today (in a hybrid Baroque-Renaissance style) was completed in 1905.

The Berlin Palace seen in the background was damaged in World War II and demolished in the 1950s by the Soviet Union because it symbolized monarchical authority. All that remains is its portal, integrated into the 1950s modern building constructed on the site of the Palace. The Palace was built in 1443 as the residence of the reigning Hohenzollern monarchs. Since German reunification in 1990, there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not to rebuild the Palace, and it seems that at least the central part will be rebuilt. The area between the Palace and the Granite Bowl was the Palace's pleasure garden, similar to the Tuileries Garden in Paris, which was behind the Tuileries Palace (demolished following destruction during the 1871 Commune).  


Related Works by Hummel:

The Grinding of the Granite Bowl, 1831 (Nationalgalerie, Berlin)

About the Artist

Born: Kassel, 11 September 1769
Died: Berlin, 26 October 1852
Nationality: German