(Tschirnitz 1874 - Dresden 1954)
Study of the Hermann Monument
Signed, dated and inscribed Rich. Müller / Hermanns Denkmal Teutoburger Wald 26.8.17 at the bottom.
173 x 147 mm. (6 4/5 x 5 3/4 in.)
A prince of the Cherusci people, as a child Arminius was sent as a hostage to Rome, where he was raised. He joined the Roman army and eventually became a Roman citizen. Sent to Magna Germania to aid the Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus in his subjugation of the Germanic peoples, Arminius secretly formed an alliance of the Cherusci with five other Germanic tribes. He used his knowledge of Roman military tactics to lead Varus’s forces into an ambush, resulting in the complete annihilation of the XVII, XVIII and XIX legions, with the loss of between 15,000 and 20,000 Roman soldiers. Generally regarded by historians as Rome’s greatest military defeat, and one of the most decisive military engagements of all time, Arminius’s victory in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest precipitated the Roman empire’s eventual strategic withdrawal from Germania and prevented its expansion east of the Rhine. By the time of the unification of Germany in 1871, Arminius had come to be regarded as a symbol of German nationalism and freedom.
The Hermannsdenkmal was built between 1838 and 1875 near the city of Detmold, on what was thought, at the time, to have been the site of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Designed and constructed by the architect and sculptor Ernst von Bandel (1800-1876), the monument rises to a height of nearly 54 metres, including the pedestal and base, with the figure of Arminius itself measuring some 25 metres to the tip of his sword. The monument remains a major tourist attraction today, receiving well over half a million visitors a year.
Matthew Rutenberg, New York.