Did you know that the years from 1830 to 1900 were the most significant period of upheaval in our modern civilisation? For the first time in art and architecture, there was an orientation towards the past and towards 'ancient' styles, while at the same time technology went through a tremendous advance. One inventor after the other appeared at the patent office. Tradition and revival, art and industry entered into a symbiosis which had not been known before. With the possibilities opened up by new technology, the spirit of the present created works of art which emulated the works of past eras, though actually they were nothing other than consummations of those works. History was 'rediscovered'. Gifted designers and ingenious architects conceived artistic treasures which were turned into reality by the best master craftsmen of the day. This new interplay gave birth to precious works of art which put everything that had gone before them in the shade.
World premiere: 'Power and Magnificence'
With 'Power and Magnificence. The splendour of Europe in the 19th century', the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks is putting on a world première: the exhibition is a gathering of selected artistic treasures such as have never been shown in public on this scale before. They come from the most significant private collection of its kind in the world. The marriage of art and industry in the 19th century was a milestone in cultural history. In the blower shed, 6000 square metres in area, it is brought back to life. Over 200 exhibits with an illustrious past meet the enormous blowers, which came into being at the same time.
Gleaming gold, sparkling rock crystal and precious ivory
The bourgeoisie was ambitious and had its own dreams of social splendour and the princely lifestyle. Those dreams were reflected in the precious masterpieces, which put their finger, so to speak, on the pulse of the times. For the first time the citizens were given a chance to break out of old hierarchies and catch up, in material terms, with the nobility. However, imperial and royal households also recognised the value of these artistic treasures, viewing them as a reflection of their own glory and sophistication. The masterpieces were presented at the world fairs in Vienna, Paris and London. The new era of 'power and magnificence' had begun, and it was to change the world!