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The Glyptothek is a museum in Munich, which was commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig I to house his collection of Greek and Roman sculptures. It was designed by Leo von Klenze in the Neoclassical style, and built from 1816 to 1830.
History of the building
The Glyptothek was commisioned by the Crown Prince (later King) Ludwig I of Bavaria alongside other projects, such as the neighboring Königsplatz and the building which houses the State Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, as a monument to ancient Greece. He envisioned a "German Athens", in which the ancient Greek culture would be remembered; he had this built in front of the gates of Munich.
The layout of the Königsplatz complex was designed by the architect Leo von Klenze in 1815, who arranged it in the style of a forum, with the Glyptothek on the north side. Colorful frescoes and stuccos made by distinguished artists such as Peter von Cornelius and Wilhelm von Kaulbach adorned the walls of the museum.
In the few years between 1806 and the opening of the museum in 1830, Louis completed one of the most magnificent collections of Greek and Roman sculpture. Through his agents, he managed to acquire such pieces as the Medusa Rondanini, the Barberini Faun, and, in 1813, the figures from the Aphaea temple on Aegina.
The Second World War did not destroy much of the artwork in the Glyptothek; unfortunately, the frescoes did not survive this and only the lightly plastered bricks were visible after the museum was reopened in 1972.
The museum was designed in the Classical Greek style. The portico is Ionic; the outer wall contains niches, in which six original Roman and Greek sculptures stand. The interior is structured with domical vaulting.
The Glyptothek contains sculptures dating from the archaic age (ca. 650 BCE) to the Roman era (ca. 14 CE). Among the most famous sculptures here are the "Barberini Faun" and the temple figures from Aegina. Other notable mosaics, sculptures, and reliefs can also be found here. This collection is complemented by the terracotta and bronze collections in the Staatsantikensammlungen (State Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities), which is located in the same area.
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