Leo von Klenze
(1784–1864)

Leo von Klenze, Plan for the new city of Athens, 1833, with Eduard Schaubert
, ink on paper
, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Munich, installation view, Neue Galerie, Kassel, documenta 14, photo: Fred Dott

Although his best-known buildings today stand in Munich and St. Petersburg, the career of artist-architect Leo von Klenze actually began in Kassel, where Jérôme Bonaparte, ruler of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia, commissioned the building of the Ballhaus (ballroom building) adjoining Wilhelmshöhe Castle—also a documenta 14 venue. Klenze would go on to spend many years in Athens in the employ of the court of the Bavarian-born king Otto I, which led, among other things, to his coauthoring a new city plan for the Athenian capital, the contours of which still define the present-day metropolis. Von Klenze also painted the Acropolis on many occasions, and he would later use the Parthenon as the blueprint for his greatest architectural folly: a full-scale replica named Walhalla, which to this day towers above the banks of the Danube just south of Regensburg.

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