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ON CRITICISM

OF

LEIPZIGER MENDEBRUNN
ENS
FROM

F.

CONTENT
I. The seven traveling works of Leipzig
II. The charge
III. The defense
IV. Concessions
V. The inscription and the 4 empty signs

I. The seven wonders of Leipzig.


Our city of Leipzig, in its rapid upswing, seems to have laid it down to little, I
mean to say, about seven or seven years to have its seven wonders. The new
Concerthaus only had to open up in order to outstrip the 100-year glory of the old one
in such a way that it now offers the finest housing among the cities to an art in which
Leipzig has long assumed leadership among the cities. The new, or rather phoenix-
like, new museum, Vatican and Lateran, Glyptothek and Pinakothek for Leipzig in
Eins, does not offer, with its mastery of the inner rooms, their transparency and the
miraculous view from the top into the Michel-Angelo-Saal just topping all the
museums of other cities, but challenging them with the question what do you have in
the same way? The new St. Peter's Church, with its four apocalyptic dogs, greeted at
once by the general astonishment and continued to attract the attention of the
worshipers, has become not only a miracle of the city, but of the world; while the old
St. Thomas Church is visibly at least trying to become a new miracle. - In the next
prospect stands the Siemering'sche Victory Monument with its four grandiose riders
parading in front of the Germania, for whom the marketplace seems only good
enough as a frame, although I think that's a place where beauty benefits go, but the
Augustusplatz Space is where beauty comes in handy, so I'd rather see it here than
there. No matter how many, the height of the Niederwalddenkmal may not be
enough, for a mountain on the Rhine serves as a pedestal, it defeats all the triumphal
monuments among the cities. -
In the near future, when it finally wants to be so good, the Reichsgericht building,
in which Leipzig erects itself a victory monument over Berlin and at the same time
rivals its parliament building. First of all, we see it with the effigy statues of all the
judicial virtues out there, as inwardly adorned with the real virtues, the avenues of the
imperial estates tower awe-inspiring, and in concert with the Concerthaus move the
center of gravity of the whole city. - And now, to the already finished works, only
recently, in a common dedication ceremony to the museum so to speak said
Mendebrunnen, which seems to have branched off from the greatest foundation for
the benefit of the country, to our city as a miracle well among the cities to
decorate. Over the already highest price of a competition, to which all of Germany is
invited, he has finally won the prize. As a monumental work of art, it also honors the
memory of the founder and gives a dignified expression to the city's thanks. A circle
of admiring spectators has surrounded him from the outset, the locals returns to him
with ever new gusto, and leads the stranger to him with unspeakable pride.
One sees, after all, that under the slightly coveted title of marvels of the city, I
mean chief ornaments of them, in which they not only compare themselves with other
cities, but in a certain respect can outdo them: and the new fountain, in any case,
claims to belong to it ,
But let us not be too hasty with the concession. The amount of the claim first
threatens the case. Among the admiring voices, here and there, too, some unfavorable
ones could be heard; and in these things, the fewest voices usually have the most
rights. Let us be careful not to confuse a whimsical work with a marvel: it is in this
respect a question of life for the taste of Leipzig. Of course we do not have the right
to the imperial court in matters of law in the matter of taste, which decides in the
highest instance. But negotiations can lead to it, after which everyone decides on their
own or in which he can find a conversation. So let's get into that, too. and speak in
the usual way of the charge before the defense. In the main I will do the lawyer of the
work; Others may like to make it what I finally find fault with. And after all the cons
and for and for and against, the fountain will remain as a marvel of Leipzig in the
above sense.
II. The charge.
If I now summarize everything that I have to say against the well, even if not with
the same words and explanations, it is something like this.
A monumental work of art wants to be the fountain? A, if you want great, at any
rate expensive, with Nuremberg artifice prepared plaything, yes, which would be
suitable on a smaller scale probably as an essay on a boastful clock; but a work of art
and a monumental, no; for this he lacks the essential qualities of both: the unity of the
work of art, whereby all the details of it are organically linked and related to each
other, and the relative simplicity of the whole and moderate attitude of the individual,
whereby the self-contained impression of the monumental arises. To see, of course,
there is enough at the well, which can excite, occupy and satisfy the lust of the
crowd: men. Women, Children, Horses, Dolphins, Shells, Fish, Frogs, Crustaceans -
turtles seem to forget only - winged larvae, rococo-like signs, rock fragments from
heroic landscapes, an obelisk with an asterisk above them. Among them is not
lacking in adventurous figures and movements. In short, there is the possible out of
the realms of nature and the impossible out of the fabulous realms. But where is the
idea that holds this thing together in a tight space and nested together. Below, snake-
footed trumpeting watermen or tritons struggling in vain with reins of their wild-
footed, wing-footed horseshoes, so-called hippocamps, above them fish-tailed
mermaids, naiads or nereids provide fish, crabs and an enigmatic Y-shaped thing
(coral?) as for sale; to supreme putti, who are everywhere else like words, where
concepts are absent, tend to appear in works of art, that is, they did not believe that
they should be absent; in the vicinity dolphins in loving embrace with red blank signs
(so-called cartouches). But how would it be if the characters of a spectacle on the
stage were equally independent of each other, singing in a song every verse of
something else, in a sonata no one caring about the other? Will the fountain alone
make an exception to the most general demand of all the arts and still be called a
work of art? Since it is supposed to be a water-work of art, one sees, of course, water
splashing about it everywhere and running down from it; but the material diverging in
all directions can not replace the unifying idea. in the vicinity dolphins in loving
embrace with red blank signs (so-called cartouches). But how would it be if the
characters of a spectacle on the stage were equally independent of each other, singing
in a song every verse of something else, in a sonata no one caring about the
other? Will the fountain alone make an exception to the most general demand of all
the arts and still be called a work of art? Since it is supposed to be a water-work of
art, one sees, of course, water splashing about it everywhere and running down from
it; but the material diverging in all directions can not replace the unifying idea. in the
vicinity dolphins in loving embrace with red blank signs (so-called cartouches). But
how would it be if the characters of a spectacle on the stage were equally independent
of each other, singing in a song every verse of something else, in a sonata no one
caring about the other? Will the fountain alone make an exception to the most general
demand of all the arts and still be called a work of art? Since it is supposed to be a
water-work of art, one sees, of course, water splashing about it everywhere and
running down from it; but the material diverging in all directions can not replace the
unifying idea. in a song each verse sang of something else, in a sonata no phrase took
care of the other. Will the fountain alone make an exception to the most general
demand of all the arts and still be called a work of art? Since it is supposed to be a
water-work of art, one sees, of course, water splashing about it everywhere and
running down from it; but the material diverging in all directions can not replace the
unifying idea. in a song each verse sang of something else, in a sonata no phrase took
care of the other. Will the fountain alone make an exception to the most general
demand of all the arts and still be called a work of art? Since it is supposed to be a
water-work of art, one sees, of course, water splashing about it everywhere and
running down from it; but the material diverging in all directions can not replace the
unifying idea.
And how, in the case of such incoherence, which lets the gaze wander aimlessly,
should the violent movements of the masculine, the hasty movements of the female
figures, create the impression of monumental tranquility. In fact, only about the putti
above preserve reasonably monumental decency; but is not it a wrong world, when
the little ones, who are most likely to enjoy a merry movement, would like to forgive
a gambling malady, setting a good example for the adults, which they do not obey?
Now Obelisk, which stands out from the middle of the work, is supposed to have
the role of imprinting its own monumental character on the whole work. But what
does an obelisk have to do with the idea of a well? and how does he connect with the
life and bustle of the characters all around? growing out of the obelisk organically,
one can not think it; so they stare at him like strange outgrowths or spikes; just stand
a little bit away to get the impression of it; One would rather have the simple
obelisk. In addition, his bright red, like that of the four plates, stands out
disharmoniously from the darkened patina of the ornate figures, and adds to the
plasticity the coloristic dichotomy.
In other truly monumental art fountains, a main figure is generally seen to vividly
represent the main idea as the apex and center of the whole, and clearly state what the
well wants, be it a Neptune, an Amphitrite, a river god, a river goddess, or just a sea
monster; for that reason, in addition to this, the minor figures with subsidiary
connotations and achievements line up. But how can the dry, rigid, stereometric
obelisk represent such a protagonist; rather, he represents the path of a major
achievement.
In fact, whether one wants to see a fountain of water or a play in the well, one
should expect, in order to accomplish his task in a highest performance and at the
same time to meet his instructive inscription, that there would be a stream of water
from the summit
"Strive to Heaven with fresh strength."
But nothing less than that. Such a ray can only be found in the inscription of the
well, which gives it an ironic character. Rather, the putti above let the water run
downwards, unconcerned by the fact that it runs cold on the naked neck of the
women under it, which one regrets involuntarily therefore. Of course, since the
mermaids, dispensed by their other occupation, themselves play a part in the play of
water, they must, or at least be fooled, at least be overwhelmed by it, in order not to
be unseemly at the great barrenness of the well of water and uncomfortable for
mermaids to sit in a dry place.
In fact, however, what saving on water over the waste of solid material at a
well! There is, as it were, a tremendous noise of stone and ore around a relative lack
of water. Nowhere is there a greater mass of matter moving and acting in connection
with it, but, in order to look in its least at all, a fibrillation of this little thing into thin
rays and short, flat, separate fonts. And while the well makes an ungrateful effort, by
means external to its task of outperforming the wells of other cities, it becomes from
the simple fountains of its own city, in the swan-ponds, and in front of the town-
house, in power, height, and fullness Water effect far outstripped; there you have the
thing and performance that matters, in full concentration,
And with all these errors, the well has been impeccably prepared for the museum,
and with its obelisk makes a troublesome competition from its height, and obscures
most of it for anyone who does not fit into the tight space between them. It is
undisputed, because obelisks stand in front of large buildings, and one should stand in
front of the museum, and because the money to the fountain was once there, but
space for stalls was to be saved, the obelisk immediately took the well into its
place; how else would they have ever gotten together?
Finally a question and a reservation, which seems petty, and yet can not be ignored,
since it has not escaped the notice of fine observers and judges. How could the frogs,
dependent on life in the lowlands, reach the monument to the putti? and what did they
want up there? Instead of the dolphins, which actually belonged entirely in the water,
or alternately with the dolphins, they would have been better placed down on the
inner edge of the water-filled basin; but you see, it did not embarrass the artist,
occasionally even the lowest to top.
III. The defence.
One sees, the prosecutor has a long breath, and thus has talked our well, so to
speak, dead; But at last I have a say too.
And how can I, as the advocate of the well for which I declared myself, refute
everything he has brought forward? Do not refute; the facts against which the
indictment amounts are quite correct; but only contradict the view of the prosecutor
with a different view; according to which it remains up to each one to resent the well
in the sense of the accusation or to rejoice in it in the sense of the defense.
To his two outer eyes, with which he sees the external appearance of things, man
has an inner, with which he sees through the outer eyes into the interior of things, and
in the world as in the work of art also recognizes the inner unity of the external
multiplicity; he just has to keep the inner eye open; and I accuse the prosecutor that
he is not doing it.
In my fountain I see the whole world of water contracted into art through art,
symbolic and natural means to effectively intermesh and complement each other; see
the whole thing animated by the idea, the life, weaving and drifting of the water in its
connections with the land, in its relations to the organic world, in its descent from
above, shortly after the various sides and directions it presents to the in to express a
closed, vivid expression. Now a work of art should not represent an abstract unity, but
uniformly connected manifoldness. Why, then, should our fountain not be a work of
art, since in it the greatest variety is unitarily united by the clearest idea. It is only
necessary to follow the simplest finger pointing.
Although the fountain lacks a dramatic connection of his figures. But who has to
look for her here? Should the four riders of the Victory Monument also talk to each
other and to the Germania, play a scene so that such a unity does not fail? Every work
of its own kind has its own way of expressing the idea in it; and instead of being
branched together, the details may be linked by a common reference. So it is the case
in our as in the victory monument. And if it is an ingenious idea that in the
Niederwald monument the mermaid of the Rhine of the Moselle mermaid hands over
the guardian horn, this is a welcome dramatic episode, but the implementation of
such a connection through the whole would not only be an impossibility.
But as a monumental work, the fountain presents itself, not only through the
inscribed relationship to the memory of the founder, but also the height dominating
the place, the material defying transience and the massiveness of the structure. And
why less because it is not related to the past of a great historical personality or a great
historical event; but it is based on the not merely past and present, but eternal reality
and effectiveness of a principal element and source of life in the world, and,
accordingly, had flowed through its creatures rather than resembling a dead past. But
if you want to deny him the name of a monumental work, because it's not the
definition, which one may have made of oneself and could probably do differently, is
fulfilled; what would it do if it only fulfilled the general demands of art. There are
many apartments in her house.
In addition, the fountain is also a stylistic work, which wants to say more than a
stylized work. For this forces nature into traditional art forms, while the right art style
offers nature to the beholder only in a favorable way, which is more pleasing and
comprehensible than nature itself is capable of. Anyone who knows the difficulties
the artist has to overcome in this regard, where it is necessary to bring a great mass of
details into a stylish context and flow, will acknowledge the greater merit of our
work, the less he looks at it from the difficulties of overcoming.
In fact, however, we see the whole of the work organized, articulated, graduated in
such a way that all fragmentation of the impression is resisted, and the gaze, instead
of wandering in the details restlessly and helplessly, effortlessly and surely through
the whole, in the guide of the idea slides; while he always has the choice and the
change of direction remains free. The masses in the vicinity are arranged essentially
symmetrically, and the work is sharpened towards the top in a pyramidal
manner; these are well-known benefits of outward well-being, but here they are
broken alive by the demands of the Idea. Downwardly and externally the work is held
together and completed by the basin which absorbs all the water into it, upwards and
inwards through the obelisk rising from its center for intuition;
The obelisk, which is so often maligned by the accuser, forms the stylistic core of
the whole, as it were, in that all the figurative decoration of the work appeals to him,
and therefore unites, the whole work receives inner support and external height, and
the Museum in architecturally sociable relationship occurs. If he were to go away, the
whole work would sink to a loose heap, with the inner support at the same time losing
the pole and the pole for orientation, and the museum lacking the complement, which
great-looking buildings would like to see through an obelisk rising in the air Find.
If you would rather, instead of the obelisk in front of the museum, rather scold the
putti-like obelisks on its height, but you do it too.
Now asks the prosecutor: what does the obelisk have to do with the idea of a well,
then one might ask with seemingly even greater rights: what has the frame of a
painting to do with the idea of the painting? As the latter grants the outer conclusion
of the painting against the outside world, and with the impression of the gold, it raises
the impression of the outer, and the height of the obelisk makes it easier for us to
increase its height. Even if art serves external ends, it can not be condemned to art,
but not when it makes external means serviceable: now completely, when the outward
appearance of service exists merely for external observation and disappears for the
deeper-sighted view.
For him, our fountain is finally also a meaningful work by the way in which its idea
is embodied in it. If one tries, of course, to follow this elaboration in detail, then it
can easily happen, since one is not the artist himself, to see more and different things
here and there than the artist himself must have in mind and see as others in it. But if
only the main idea of the work is not contradicted, what can damage the attempt of an
interpretation of the same, which by leaving room for other attempts, only the depth
and inner richness of the work proves. In this sense, the following attempt should be
made.
In the water-filled basin that surrounds the whole, one can find the sea symbolized,
which encloses the solid land and absorbs all water coming from it; and, if you like,
in the water-spouting dolphins scattered on the inner bank of the basin, the estuaries
that deliver the water directly to the sea. In the hippocamps, which throw out the
water in a wide arc, and with all the force of their strength to restrain their watermen
or tritons, on the lowest terrace, the violent and even perishable effects of water with
the no less tremendous effort of man. - In the reed-covered mermaids with lively
twist and movement of the body and arms on the second terrace, symbols of a
prosperous communication between the water and the man, showing partly the signs
of a peaceful mastery of the water through him, trident and rudder, in the hands to
present some of the gifts of water to the people in the produce of the fishery to the
outside. In the winged putti of the uppermost terrace, which send down the water
vertically in silent rays, rain-giving genii, as representatives of the wind-winged
clouds, or of the forces excreting the water from them. - In the obelisk towering
above the whole, finally, the clue to the highest origin of the water, with its stylistic
meaning, and in the asterisk above, especially, above the sky of heavens, to the starry
sky, from which the whole receives shelter and light. And so, in our work, so to
speak, shows the whole role of water on earth rolled up.
Nothing but symbolism, they say; but should the whole meaning of the fountain be
symbolized? Oh no; apart from all symbolism, the tritons are powerful and powerful
men; the mermaids are beautiful, busy women: the putti gracefully children playing
with water; the obelisk a sage, who involuntarily lifts his gaze; every figure also
appeals to our interest for its natural significance; but if the figures only do what they
by nature, not something beyond, what makes them enter into an idea dominating the
whole, then the prosecutor would be right to see in our well only a hodgepodge or a
kind of Noah's Ark. Not the whole meaning, but the meaning of the whole is
symbolic; and why not,
It is to be admitted that our well reminds of some already existing, especially
Roman examples; but which work of art does not remind us of works of its kind that
exist even before it. Through its sensible structure, which goes hand in hand with
stylistics, our fountain surpasses all, and thus fulfills the concept of a Leipzig
miracle. The disciples of a school of the future, who at least consider themselves as
having forgotten their past, may say: in those wells ours had seen not merely
examples but models; But they rightly do not pretend to represent a meaning other
than that which lies in their intuitive forms themselves. What I mean, to be brief, is
that there can be shallow and deep wells; and our well belongs to the deep;
Also, that is to admit that the well really by thrift of water far behind the possible
achievements and hereby wishes, which have become for the accuser to demands left
behind. If all the water of the aqueduct feeding the well was used for the play of it,
and the whole plant of it had been enlarged accordingly, there would undoubtedly
have been an effect of which we scarcely have any idea now. Accordingly, what
effect would St. Peter's Church in Rome make if it were once again so high! But the
cooks and laundresses also wanted water for cooking and washing, gardeners for
watering and walkers for dusting. It could also easily face the prosecutor
himself, Rather, he began to reprimand the council and city councilors because of
their generosity of water as the well, because of its austerity, when he hears that every
hour the fountain plays with all registers, it costs the city 8 marks, for which he
counts as Taxpayer has to come up with. It is the lot of the beautiful on earth to come
into conflict with the tax demands.
Anyway, it is wrong to miss something that you have elsewhere and what you have
something for others. If the water, summed up in a single powerful ray, rises from the
top of the well, it could not jump at the same time on all sides, and if it divided
between the two tasks, it would only half full; Now one may admire what is done to
the delight of the eye with the quantity of water available in either relationship. The
sparkling water on all sides almost gives the impression of fireworks, and in the very
force with which the ornate figures spray it, still some of the fire of their casting
seems to be left behind. But after this there is nothing to prevent us from going from
our fountains, designed for versatility, to the simple fountains of our city.
In doing so, however, in order to speak of it occasionally, I reluctantly miss entirely
one of these, that of the swan-pond, something of which the prosecutor finds too
much at our well. Often sitting on a bench by the pond opposite the fountain, if he
just jumped to feel less in the laziness of the chronology in watching his play, I have
always felt a lack in this regard without some displeasure. Raw between a few raw
loose stones, the majestic ray leaps out of the water level up above the tops of the
tallest trees. Has not his foot been provided with an artifical version, however
simple? Perhaps it is said that it should rather look as if the pond were pushing it out
of its own power; but you know too well that he can not,
Also, I was already in the process of putting the following little »puzzle task for
Leipzig« in the Leipziger Tageblatt:
»I'll do the most beautiful
round
up and down!
If only I had
a nice shoe!
Will Leipzig not think of
giving Me this? "
I only let it, because one could find the comparison of the artful frame with a shoe a
bit too forced. But the wish of the fountain remains the same.
To come back to our fountain with a more general remark, it must be kept in mind,
as in any work of art, that one and the same work of art can not present all the
advantages that a work of art can offer at all; even one and the same person can not
do it; that, on the contrary, in a certain direction, they are to divulge advantages in a
different direction, to sacrifice smaller advantages in the conflict for larger ones, and
to accept even small disadvantages for greater advantages, and to take into account
the conditions of their emergence and existence; which, in general, will make the
artist better oriented than the observer, so of course criticisms that, without wanting
to know much, want to know everything better, must annoy him. It is said: a work of
art should not be a computational trick. Not only, but also; because every calculation
error takes its toll in the impression for the beholder without having to
recalculate. The enthusiasm which one demands for the right work of art does not
count, but therefore does not suffice. But what is the ultimate task and demand of all
art, which has to satisfy every work of art? Shorter and easier asked than said. I
recollect and think that through a combination of sensuous means, I create a higher
than merely sensual impression of pleasure. Such an impression is called an aesthetic
one; and the task of art to make it coincides objectively with the more popular task of
exalting the spectator beyond ordinary reality. Surely no one will find that the
intuition of our well puts it into ordinary reality; and that would give us a very simple
justification for our well.
There are many things that can be argued, but it is difficult to decide whether or not
it would be more advantageous. Is not the fountain really close to the museum? Some
who find it might soon find the opposite, if only he moved a little farther. If he were
to appear in relation to the museum at all, and it would be better to have the link than
the gap in these things, he should not stand too far, and yet not too close, in order not
to admit it to the same view and free access to it to get in the way. Where is the right
center, where is the most beautiful place? in order to hit it as safely as possible, one
would have to move the well, and finally stop at the place for which most of the most
judicious spectators, after much back-and-forth, Back and forth decidedly. But the
well does not want to be delayed; who are the most judicious spectators; and, having
textbooks of aesthetics which derive all the claims of beauty from the idea of beauty,
it would be all the more stupid to strive to experiment with them, as such they can not
do; So let's wait for the decision on the most beautiful place for our well on its
derivation from the idea of beauty and then put all the levers to push the well once
and for all there. to strive to experiment with it, when it can not be done; So let's wait
for the decision on the most beautiful place for our well on its derivation from the
idea of beauty and then put all the levers to push the well once and for all there. to
strive to experiment with it, when it can not be done; So let's wait for the decision on
the most beautiful place for our well on its derivation from the idea of beauty and
then put all the levers to push the well once and for all there.
Likewise, one may ask whether the bright purple of the obelisk and the four shields
make too garish a tinge against the black-gray-green or greenish-gray-black of the
bronze figures; It seems to some that way, and I myself do not doubt that in itself a
more advantageous composition and tinting of color, light and shadiness was
possible; only a material other than the best one has chosen, or an overpainting of the
work, of which those who, in the case of plastic works, the lack of color belongs to
the elevation over the common reality, would have turned away shuddering; and what
color would hold against the washing power of the water and against the rigors of the
weather. But maybe you would have what you want to know about
statues, everything at the fountain rather red or everything seen black; But I think that
the tapping offered by the figures against the matrix of the work is to be preferred,
since it distinctly distinguishes the living from the dead in the work, thereby
contributing to bringing life into the impression of the whole. Of course, the greatest
and most characteristic life would come into the whole if one could and would
naturally paint over all the figures; but you have long since gone beyond that and
have not come back to it yet. if one could and would paint over all the figures, of
course; but you have long since gone beyond that and have not come back to it yet. if
one could and would paint over all the figures, of course; but you have long since
gone beyond that and have not come back to it yet.
It remains, I think, only left to meet the questions and concerns of the naturalist,
who does not take enough account of the habits of the frogs in our memorial. How
could the frogs reach the monument so high up to the putti? Well, of course, through
huppen. And what did they want up there? Just as naturally as rain-announcing tree
frogs grant the rain-giving Putten an attributing attribute to them.
IV. Concessions.
After having done enough with the last of my duty to contradict the Prosecutor of
the Well in all matters, I finally allow myself to say simply what else I would rather
see otherwise at the well; but it is but little of secondary importance.
Once too brutal, one would say reckless positions and movements of the, the
hippocampi taming tritons. These trees grow like the hippocamps themselves,
spreading their legs as far apart as possible, indeed they seem to want to tear
themselves apart, which looks unnecessarily ugly, unnecessarily because it is not
required by characteristics; because in order to make great force visible in a strained
movement, one does not have to make the effort itself visible. On the other hand, the
reins of the steeds by the Dioscuri on the Monte Cavallo are just as classically
beautiful! And with more moderate movement of the tritons, there was still enough
fire in the hippocampi's movements. - Now the mistake could lie in this respect rather
than in the work of art, in our interpretation of it.
Should not the movements of the tritons, rather than a restraint on the struggling
water horses, mean participation in their outrage? Well, I did not give my
interpretation for a gospel, but she gladly clung to that less-than-obvious explanation.
But secondly. Since the water is the real life element of the plants, one would like
to see them also the rich animal world a little more than in the mere reed confusion of
the mermaids represented. The sculpture says botany is not my thing; and indeed,
where would she ever have depicted herbs, bushes, and trees; it is also obvious why
she does not do it. But the presentation of a water-lily or lotus-flower by one of the
mermaids in one hand, now stretched out into the void, would not have been too
strong and unadorned for the sculpture, and would be good for fish and crab and coral
in the hands of the other mermaids having sent.
Nothing else? But! still two things, of which one could foresee here, since it
concerns only incidental things in our works. However, since there may well be some
interest beyond the same, I will end up making a special digression about it. One is
the inscription opposite the inscription on the opposite side of the obelisk, the other is
the four inscriptions between the dolphins.
V. The inscription and the 4 empty signs.
The inscription itself on the museum facing side of the obelisk is:
BUILT
FROM THE LEGACIES
THE WOMAN
MARIANNE PAULIXE MENDE
BORN THIERIOT
1886th
The counterpoint on the side of the obelisk facing away from the museum is:
Strive to Heaven
With fresh power
Give the earth
What creates blessing
With loud brightness It
teaches the wave.

The intention of this inscription, written by our well-known and popular narrator
and poet, Paul Heyse, is to state, in the shortest and most concise terms, the
achievements of the water to which the Wellwerk refers, in two main directions, with
an edifying didactic twist; and in this respect has not lacked the applause of a
publisher grateful to the author. Except that, of course, closer, the inscription does not
fit to the fountain and the fountain does not fit the inscription, but rather teach the
opposite of each other; And since, strangely enough, no one seems to notice, my well
seems to me like a psychological miracle. In fact, as previously touched, in the whole
well no water strives "with fresh power to the sky" and even outside the well this is
not natural to the wave; but the water jumps down on all sides in arcs or runs
downright. Just as little is the water of the well "given to the earth, which creates
blessing," but all the water of the well runs back into the water, and the tritons and
hippocampi even try to make it jump out over the land.
Of course, what could the poet do for these contradictions, since at the time of
writing the inscription it was indisputable that only the poetic, but not the real, view
of the well was at his command; but both views tend to contradict each other
otherwise. Rather, one could claim it, the form-faced master, that "teaching with loud
brightness" sounds clumsily pompous, and that the last two lines of verse give the
impression of limping in that the penultimate with a short, the last with a long Raise
syllable. The audience lags patiently in this respect, too.
What seems to me to be an inscription on this inscription is that it is altogether
unfortunate to turn to a form of notability among the poets when composing a
monumental van. It seems self-evident that to perform great things in a field, the
performance of a trifle in it must be but a play; but it has concerns about two
sides. Perhaps we would have a charming novella by Heyse if he had not been
plagued by the inscription on a well that did not interest him, but it is a plague and, as
we know, requires a lot of time to say as much as possible in as few words as
possible. The inscription itself, however, would have succeeded better if the poet had
not just had the plan for a new novel or a new drama in mind. why he could not
exploit an intrigue between the tritons and mermaids. If the little one does not go into
the big, it bothers the big one, and the little one loses his nice step if he is to keep up
with the big one.
In the restless fervor of our time to erect monuments, after the time seems to have
passed for memorials, it is indisputable that in a previous remark there is a useful
practical hint for the ordering of inscriptions; and, in order to give more emphasis to
the hint, I could refer to another noble example of what the same teaches; but as I
would have to go back to it, and I do not want to give again the ungrateful effort to
blacken the radiant one dot, it would only be doubly suspected to me; so it may be in
the case of us alone here to abandon examples.
Of course, if an inscription is once ordered by an outstanding personality, the
monument can no longer save itself from it; it has to be accepted. And, one may ask,
what can an authority or the foundation comité do other than turn to the most well-
respected authority in order to be in any case overstaffed for the sake of success.
I believe that something else could be done; it's just not brought here to do that; but
could not you even risk deviating from being brought here? I mean, with or after the
competition for the monument one would have to open it for the inscription; and as I
enclose the value of a discovery with these proposals, I will go into their advantages
in more detail.
We know that in Germany there is no lack of poets, rather of those who are not. So
first, what is the urge to compete; every poet, with the inscription on the monument,
would have been able to hope for a monument to himself, and, if he had really won
the prize, could count on a publisher for his other poems; because, only the head has
drilled a hole, so goes the longest tail. Indeed, since it is only stated that the greatest
poets offer nothing less than the greatest chance of success, even a mediocre or even
bad poet would in the happiest moment of his life fall for the most prized idea, and
thereby become the pride of his offspring can.
Thereafter, it would be advisable to present the incomplete inscriptions in an album
printed to the public, which would offer new advantages. For, first of all, one would
have, as it were, a box of poetic meat extract for the characterization of the poetic
capacity of time; secondly, then each individual in the audience would have the
opportunity to award the prize in their sole discretion, and to scold the committee, if
it was not right with him, thirdly, there would certainly be much to laugh about in it.
In order to put my suggestion into perspective, I fake that the inscription was not
yet there, but the competition for it only opened. Although I am neither a mediocre
nor a bad poet, but no poet at all, this does not prevent me from taking part in the
competition, since, firstly, I at least share the advantage with my fellow competitors,
the monument on which the inscription should fit to be able to see for
yourself; secondly, an example of how not to do it, of having an excellent poet in
mind, and thirdly, to be quite open, finding nothing else to kill a troublesome
time. But in order to increase my chance as much as possible - as one takes a number
of lots in order to win as surely as possible - I make myself competition with the
following missions:
Variations of the inscription of the Mendebrunen.
(1)
As the waters leap cheerfully,
crowns joyful success
This city in all things.
(2)
Water, ore and stone
do not do it alone;
Glory be to the spirit,
Which did the most,
Who gave rich life
Has given substance.
(3)
The water that came from heaven
drives down its pleasurable play;
The obelisk points to the destination, from
where it originated, so,
whatever the earthly activity,
the highest goal may remain in the eye.
(4)
Only drunk from the earth,
sunk deep into their night,
What seemed lost in it,
Here is born again into the light.
Above it go candles of heaven;
Take the beautiful picture to heart.
(5)
A colorful
fairy- tale seems woven from foreign legends;
But his meaning is simple.
If you want to ask for it;
An element of the world wants to unfold in equal measure
In the narrow space in front of you, its multifarious form.
Of course, what do 5 attempts say when thousands quarrel over the price? Which
among the inscriptions which have come to pass, however, may win them over, it
may not imagine that it will supplant the once existing one, which from the outset has
conquered all possible competitors by having none of them opposite. It will stop, not
because it can appeal to the fact that all recriminations against it fall back only on the
censure of the accusation, but because it once stands; as will the four apocalyptic
dogs of St. Peter's, but not because they are not real dogs, because everyone thinks
they are ugly dogs, or because stylistically they could not be replaced by anything
else; One will not want to give this indictment of architecture; but because they once
stand; and how old Hahnemann will stay in the park because he's sitting. Monumental
works have something conservative about them; and, indeed, what should come of it,
if every new idea should be allowed to make something new out of it; that would be a
story of the monument instead of a monument. So, if a time has made or allowed a
mistake in the construction of a monument, it must also accept that it shares the
durability of the monument, and thus remains characteristic of the time. if any new
idea should be allowed to make something new out of it; that would be a story of the
monument instead of a monument. So, if a time has made or allowed a mistake in the
construction of a monument, it must also accept that it shares the durability of the
monument, and thus remains characteristic of the time. if any new idea should be
allowed to make something new out of it; that would be a story of the monument
instead of a monument. So, if a time has made or allowed a mistake in the
construction of a monument, it must also accept that it shares the durability of the
monument, and thus remains characteristic of the time.
But the more the public will like to accept the inscription as it is, as it does not
inquire anyway about its meaning, enough that the inscription ruthlessly forms an
equally beautiful ornament in gold as the foundation inscription; But the most
beautiful meaning would not be able to beautify the inscription in this respect.
Anyway, the inscription has a meaning, but what does it mean for a sense that the
four red signs or cartouches between the dolphins have no inscription, and what can
they mean without that? In fact, as if wordlessly they yawn at us and seem, as they do
not say themselves what they want to say, to ask us about it; but I do not know for
sure. They can not have a symbolic meaning, a mere ornamental one, but neither,
since the monument is not designed for empty ornamentation at all. and since they are
framed by two dolphins belonging to the figurative stock of the
work; Embellishments but not framed with essential parts of the work. It is still very
doubtful whether they, inserted in the almost black figure stock of the work, do not
contribute much,
Now one can remember that there was a stylistic need to give the simple red
obelisk in the midst of a kind of counterweight on the circumference in distributed
masses of the same color. But supposing that such existed, it could only be fulfilled
by empty signs which do not fulfill the need of self-fulfillment. So all that does not
work out and yet, for nothing the signs can not be there in such a well thought-out
work.
So I make my hypothesis, thinking that the signs were originally intended for
inscriptions, which should give more specific or secondary connotations to the main
inscription expressing the most general meaning of the work, and thus partly for the
amusement of the spectators as they walk around the well to contribute partly to open
stupid eyes for its multi-sided meaning. And would probably have been one and the
other bad? But it did not work, and why not? But a new hypothesis, as well as
hypotheses like to rely on each other. The author of the main inscription might not
expect the additional inscriptions and thought that it would easily find subordinate
forces; but the fountain was getting ready, when such were found and might not wait
for them with its opening; so the signs remained empty. Or, even more likely, such
powers were really found: the inscriptions obtained from it, however, were still less
than the main inscription, so that the signs themselves were reluctant to accept them.
In order not to lose the cause of the signs at least in the idea, I come back to the
fiction that a competition has been opened up to fill them with inscriptions later; and
since I do not betray vanity by entering into it, by counting my powers to the
subordinate, nor by bringing the audience around for a fair novella, but chiefly for the
third of the above reasons, I again enter the competition myself with the following
contributions :
(1)
In many, seek the one.
Otherwise the mistake is yours.
(2)
The water uses too many things;
Here it is once to make fun of.
(3)
The power, the raw, knows neither measure nor goal,
conquered by art gives a beautiful game.
(4)
And if it stirs inside of grim figures.
It is a work of peace that God can give us.
However, it is enough to have entertained myself with it; for the fountain does not
have reason to resist the imposition of four inscriptions to its two main inscriptions,
asserting that it is a plastic work for which so much reading does not happen.
In fact, I remember a pun on Trochu, who, as the military governor of Paris during
his siege in 1870, could not tire of teaching the French people about the state of
affairs and the demands of the times by means of public plots and proclamations. It
was called Trochu trop lu instead of Trochu, and thus it could meet our memorial, if it
wanted to save thinking about its meaning through reading, saying that it was rather a
Les'mal than a memorial.
If inscriptions on the plates should not fit at all, one might think of another
content; except that everyone I know of has one or more buts. For example, to affix
signage on the signs; So about the most beautiful landscapes of Leipzig. But the
sculptural work would defend itself against painting as well as reading, shields would
soon become shabby through the action of air and water, and the most beautiful
landscapes of Leipzig would only prove the lack of beautiful ones. Or the coats of
arms of Saxony, Leipzig, the founder and the artist (Ungerer in Munich) in bas-relief
or inlaid work on the signs to install. But do the family crests also exist? and the coat
of arms of the donator would have to be attached under the inscription of the
foundation;
And why go further, as the fountain will at last assert its monumental right to leave
the signs empty, because they are once empty, how he will leave the inscription,
because it once stands.
After all, it seems to me that the embarrassment of interpreting, motivating or
filling the four empty signs of the monument amounts to an actual embarrassment in
the execution of the monument, which could not be solved, and which one can easily
put up with she is not too intrusive. But other works of art bear witness to such
embarrassments, and I do not deny that the monument of victory, which will
hopefully face our well on the opposite side of the same place, seems to betray one of
which I hate to miss a happy solution.
It concerns the way in which the emperor was represented in the monument. In the
first draft he was, as far as I can remember, only to be seen on a bas-relief
surrounding the monument as the main figure among other figures; but this
undeniably did not seem to do enough for his meaning as head and guardian of the
Reich in matters of war and peace compared with the representation of the four
paladins of the empire in magnificent equestrian statues protruding from the
monument. On the other hand, he seemed to disappear. But where and how
else? Before, between, besides the four equestrian statues as fifth, he was only a fifth
wheel on the car. Above stood the Germania, which could not be replaced or
suppressed by anything. Now we see him in the definitive design as a bust or a seated
figure in a niche of the post of Germania attached. But attaching one main character
to the post of another protagonist seems even less appropriate; but should I say how
to solve the embarrassment at all, I would have to remain guilty of the answer. I
would have preferred to have the first draft; but it may seem different to others.

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