Maximilian Joseph Graf von Montgelas


Maximilian Joseph Graf von Montgelas, 2003-2005
Promenadeplatz, Munich, DE
3D scans of historical representations of Montgelas, digitally generated and CNC-milled by a 5-axis milling machine, seawaterresistant aluminium, height: 6,2 m

For the monument of the Minister Montgelas on Promenadenplatz in Munich, a figure of the minister was installed of the same height as other monuments placed in the immediate vicinity. Installed without a pedestal, the monument of Montgelas is just as tall as the statues of Christoph Willibald Gluck, Orlando di Lasso, and Lorenz Westenrieder. Known for his role as an important reformer, however, Maximilian Joseph Graf Montgelas stands directly on the floor and thus on the same level as his admirers and passers-by.

All available portraits of the minister were assembled and scanned. Using a computer program especially developed for this project, the scans were merged into a single „ideal“ portrait of the statesman. This full length two-dimensional portrait was then converted into 3D data. The minister‘s three-dimensional portrait was sculpted using a CNC milling machine, layer by layer, from a composite aluminum block based on the data transmitted.

The neutrality of the procedure enables a high degree of precision while simultaneously keeping the portrait fictional. At the same time, the sculpture is very present through its sheer dimension, while reflecting the observer in the shiny material, thus creating an ideal image of the self. With the abandonment of the pedestal, all set up at ground level, the figure recalls the modernist style of the „democratic“ monument. In order to be able to clearly identify the minister, his name, dates of birth and death, as well as his function are engraved in a plate embedded in the floor.