1831 - 1834

Palmette Ornaments at Jenisch Haus

Jenisch Haus, Historische Museen Hamburg

A collection of palmette ornaments in the white hall and throughout the house.

The young Hamburg resident Franz Gustav Forsmann and the older Karl Friedrich Schinkel from Berlin, who was well-known at the time, were not the only architects who used the palmette style. During this period, the sensational archeological excavations in Pompeii and Herculaneum were fascinating citizens and, as a result, many stylistic elements being were taken from Greco-Roman antiquity.

The palmette was distributed as an ancient motif in the sample collection "Vorbilder für Fabrikanten und Handwerker" (Templates for Manufacturers and Handworkers), compiled from 1821 to 1837 by different architects and artists, including Schinkel.

The palmette resembles the fan-shaped leaves of a palm tree. In general, the upper part of the motif consists of five or more leaves or petals. The fanning moves upward in a rhythmic pattern from a single, almost triangular base.

The palmette has a long history, most likely originating in ancient Egypt and later being developed through art in Europe, especially in Greece.

It is known in most artistic media, but primarily as architectural ornamentation, or a decorative furniture element as can be seen here.

Whether carved or painted, it is a very common construction feature of gravestone friezes, columns, cornices, and ceilings.

The chandelier was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and comes from a manor house in East Holstein.
His palmette ornamentation is reminiscent of the gilded window grilles of Jenisch House. The inspiration for this was the pilaster capital of the Temple of Apollo in Didyma, or the geison of the Athena Temple in Priene.

Credits: Story

Project, Coordination and Realization: Anna Symanczyk, Martina Fritz
Text: Dr. Nicole Tiedemann
Photos: Michaela Hegenbarth

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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