A claque, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, was a group of people who were paid to applaud certain singers or actors, and to boo others.
This group of four statues, called The Claque, was created in 1987 by Guido Messer. The statues are now located by the Enz River in Pforzheim at Waisenhausplatz (Orphanage Square), by a pedestrian bridge called the Nonnenmühlsteg (Nuns Mill Bridge). Appropriately, this is not far from the Pforzheim City Theater.
Guido Messner is a German sculptor who was born in 1941 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From 1958 to 1961 he did an apprenticeship as a goldsmith in Pforzheim, after which he stayed in Pforzheim to study at the Kunst -und Werkschule Pforzheim (Art and Craft School). He later studied at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste (State Academy of Fine Arts) in Stuttgart and at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris.
For more sculptures by Guido Messner, see my post Sculptures in Weikersheim.
The Rassler were 19th century commuters who lived in the outlying villages and came into Pforzheim every day to work in the jewelry factories. Originally they walked in every day, often long distances, but those who could afford it later came in by train after the railroads were built.
This group of statues was made by the sculptor Fritz Theilmann (1902–1991) and was unveiled in 1982.
Rassler is now also the name of a football (soccer) club in Pforzheim.
This pavilion and statue on the Auer Bridge, where the Enz and Nagold Rivers come together, was created by Rob und Leon Krier to commemorate the rafters (Flößer) who used to transport goods on the rivers before the coming of the railroads in the nineteenth century.
My photos in this post are from 2007. I revised the text in 2021.
See more posts on Pforzheim, Germany.
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4 thoughts on “Sculptures in Pforzheim”
I think the man (reproduced four times – the same man so the same face on all of them – great idea to represent a claque) looks like a fat banker – smug. I think naming the football stadium after the workers is a great idea.
Not so sure I understand the rafter’s statue
I’m not sure I understand the rafter’s statue either, but I didn’t get a very good photo of it. It’s on a pedestal in the middle of a bridge.
I love the Rassler. The statues have a universal quality about them that crosses nations and even time periods to certain extent.
I hadn’t heard the word claque so that’s today’s little snippet of learning 🙂 And I really like the Rassler – they could be commuters anywhere, any time.