Hans Thoma: The Pringsheim-Frieze

In Honour of the 200th Birthday Anniversary of Richard Wagner
27 April – 13 October 2013

The Staatsgalerie congratulates the composer Richard Wagner, who was again particularly celebrated in the anniversary year 2013, with a presentation of the Pringsheim Frieze by Hans Thoma (1839-1924), which has not been shown for many years.

The monumental, recently restored murals depict motifs from the mythology of Orpheus and the Golden Age. They once decorated the music room of the magnificent Munich city palace of the Pringsheim family. Its owner, Alfred Pringsheim, a respected, wealthy mathematics professor and father-in-law of Thomas Mann, was an ardent admirer of Richard Wagner.

After the sale and demolition of the Pringsheim Palace in Munich, the Staatsgalerie acquired the wall frieze consisting of 14 paintings and 12 ornamental bands in 1935. As our provenance research revealed, the Pringsheim couple sold at a very low price due to the reprisals by the Nazi state under great temporal and political pressure. The Staatsgalerie therefore reported the frieze under Lost Art, the coordination office for the return of persecuted cultural property.

The Staatsgalerie now presents the frieze circulating under the ceiling in accordance with the former architecture of the music room. Furthermore, three examples of Alfred Pringsheim's sophisticated chamber music arrangements of Wagner's music dramas can be heard and seen: A projection shows Pringsheim's scores simultaneously with the music.