In an episode in Erwin Strittmatter’s Ole Bienkopp, one of the most interesting novels to appear during the lifetime of the German Democratic Republic, the Communist Party secretary of the Duchy of Ruppin in Mark Brandenburg becomes annoyed with the presence, in the marketplace of the town of Gransee, of a memorial to Queen Luise of Prussia. Erected by the townspeople in 1811, to commemorate the fact that the much-loved queen’s funeral cortege paused for a night in Gransee on its way to Berlin from Mecklenburg, where she died, the Luisendenkmal was a catafalque resting on a high stone pedestal, with a golden crown at its head. Over the coffin there was a Gothic baldachin of iron in the shape of a tabernacle, and the whole was enclosed by ornamental iron railings. The district secretary could see no reason why this melancholy edifice should still be casting a shadow over the marketplace and, reflecting that old iron is always useful, he sent some laborers to demolish it. As the first hammer hit the railings, however, a window flew up in the building across the square, and the town dentist shouted indignantly, “You are desecrating Schinkel!”1

The monument to Queen Luise was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the greatest European architect of his time and one whose influence is still at work 150 years after his death. A patriot and humanist, he transformed the face of Berlin and made Potsdam one of the architectural delights of Germany, and he was the designer of such fully achieved, if markedly diverse, masterpieces as the Iron Cross and the Old Museum in Berlin. He was also a painter of great talent, a stage and industrial designer, and a leader in design education. The dentist in Gransee probably knew all that; the district secretary probably didn’t but was smart enough to sense that, while crowned heads were fair game for good Communists, cultural treasures were not. Like him, the Communist regime in East Germany, while gleefully destroying the Hohenzollern castle in Berlin and Bismarck’s estate at Schönhausen, and even pulling down the Schloss in Paretz, where Queen Luise had spent happy years as the young bride of King Frederick William III, and erecting in its place an institute for animal culture, walked gingerly around Schinkel’s creations. It is true that in 1961, despite a chorus of appeals to Walther Ulbricht from Western architects, it did demolish the war-damaged Bauakademie in Berlin to make room for a pompous new home for its Foreign Ministry, but it spared the Luisendenkmal in Gransee and most of Schinkel’s other works, and it actually restored his masterful State Theater in the Gendarmenmarkt just in time for it to play its part in the festivities attendant upon the proclamation of the new united Germany in October 1990.

The reunification has made the whole of Schinkel’s work easily accessible to Western travelers for the first time in forty-five years. Equally important, it has also removed obstacles to cooperation between German curators, and it is this circumstance that made it possible last autumn for the Victoria and Albert Museum to mount a major exhibition, with drawings, paintings, and other artifacts from Schinkel collections in both Germanys.

It is possible that many viewers of this stunning show, which ran from July to October and dealt with virtually all aspects of Schinkel’s life and career, placing his work within its proper cultural and historical context and seeking to give an impression of the artist and the forces that moved him, found its riches a little hard to digest. If so, the exhibition’s splendid catalog, Karl Friedrich Schinkel: A Universal Man, has all of the ingredients needed to correct that condition, as well as to inform and delight readers who were unable to see it. It begins with seven essays by German and English art historians on Schinkel’s artistic development and the principal fields of his creative activity. These are richly illustrated by color plates, black-and-white drawings, notebook sketches, and architectural designs. They are followed by a folio of photographs from the years 1890 to 1940 of Schinkel’s buildings, with some interesting views of the Crown Prince’s apartments in the royal palace in Berlin and other interiors that Schinkel designed but have been destroyed. Most of the volume is then given over to reproductions of the 160 items in the exhibition, with meticulously detailed and highly informative notes. All in all, this is the first attempt in the English language to present a reasonably comprehensive study of Schinkel and his work, and Michael Snodin and his collaborators are to be congratulated on the result.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel was born in Neuruppin, about seventeen miles northwest of Berlin, on March 13, 1781, the son of the local superintendant of the Lutheran church. There is a story that, when he was a small child, his father used to draw things for him, mostly birds, and that Schinkel always said, “But birds look quite different from that!”2 This may be apocryphal, but it is true that in school, both in Neuruppin and later in the Gymnasium of the Gray Cloister in Berlin exercises in art always interested the young Schinkel more than books, and that he was forever sketching (three of his portrait heads survive from the year 1796). He also had a pronounced musical talent and a passion for the theater that grew with the years. These interests remained unfocused until 1797, when he saw and was overwhelmed by the young Friedrich Gilly’s extraordinary design for a memorial to Frederick the Great in the Leipziger Platz in Berlin, which was to take the form of a Doric temple above a massive substructure of geometrical forms and historical symbols.3


The uncertainty of the times made the execution of Gilly’s plan impossible (anything so grandiose had to wait until King Ludwig I of Bavaria commissioned Leo von Klenze in the 1830s to build the national memorial Walhalla, above the Danube near Regensburg, a monument that bears some resemblance to Gilly’s conception).4 Even so, the design made Schinkel resolve to become an architect and, leaving school, he began to work with Gilly’s father, David, who was interested in improving the technical training of architects. In a prefatory essay to the bilingual edition of Schinkel’s Architectural Designs, Rand Carter points out that, while relatively brief, Schinkel’s formal training was remarkably thorough. In 1799, he became one of ninety-five students in a newly founded Bauakademie, whose faculty comprised the two Gillys, Heinrich Gentz, the designer of the new Berlin Mint, and Carl Gotthard Langhans, the architect of the Brandenburger Gate. The school’s curriculum emphasized mathematics and engineering and included lectures on the history and theory of architecture by the architect and archaeologist Alois Hirt. A year and a half later, after the untimely death of Friedrich Gilly, Schinkel was already working as an architect, finishing up some of Gilly’s unfinished projects, like a townhouse in the Friedrichstrasse that stood until 1893, and designing some of his own, an Ionic garden pavilion on the Pfingstberg near Potsdam, for example, and several buildings for country estates. These projects and some work designing furniture and porcelain enabled him to save enough money to support an extended study trip to Italy via Dresden, Prague, and Vienna, with a stop in Paris on the way back, that lasted from 1803 to 1805.

It is interesting that what Schinkel saw in Italy appealed more to the painter in him than to the architect. It was not that he neglected the remains of Hellenistic culture in central Italy or the examples of Saracen architecture that he found between Venice and Palermo. But he tended to be more interested in their relationship to nature than to the technique of their construction. It was in Italy that he became an accomplished landscape painter, and it was to his Italian journey that we owe the great perspective studies of Messina, Palermo, and the plain of Portinico that so impressed Goethe.

This shift in interest was perhaps fortunate, for after his return to Berlin Schinkel found that there were few opportunities for architects. The decade that followed saw the Prussian defeat at Jena and Auerstedt, the French occupation of Berlin, the slow recovery of the country under the leadership of Stein, Scharnhorst, and the other reformers, and the preparations for the war of liberation that lasted from 1813 to 1815. During this period, with no architectural commissions in sight, Schinkel devoted himself to landscape painting in oil, gouache, watercolors, and sepia, developing a skill and feeling that have led some critics to say that he might have become another Ruisdael or Hobbema if he had devoted all of his time to this. But artists have to live, and much of Schinkel’s income came from the painting of dioramas and panoramas, particularly the cycle of large optical-perspective pictures that he painted for the Gropius Christmas exhibitions, in which, in the words of Theodor Fontane,

he spread before the astonished eyes of his compatriots the most beautiful and interesting things from all parts of the world: views of Constantinople and the environs of the Nile, the Cape of Good Hope, Palermo, Taormina with Aetna, Vesuvius, St. Peter’s, Castel Sant’ Angelo and the capitol in Rome, the cathedral in Milan, the Chamonix valley, St. Mark’s Square, the burning of Moscow, the battle of Leipzig, Elba, St. Helena, etc. Above all, the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” painted for the smaller Gropius theater in 1812, deserve special mention. They gave him a long desired opportunity to display, at their most brilliant, not only the full development of his painterly skills, but also his architectural genius. Franz Kugler [Schinkel’s first biographer] called these works “the most brilliant reconstructions of the miraculous buildings of the classical age.”5

These pictures (one of which, The Fire of Moscow, is reproduced in the catalog of the London exhibition) and the large panoramas that Schinkel built in 1808 and 1809 (View of Palermo, St. Mark’s Square by Moonlight, and Cathedral of Milan by Moonlight), which were mounted on the walls of a cylindrical interior and viewed from a platform in the middle with dramatic lighting and choral accompaniment, marked a step toward actual theater production, and indeed in 1813 Schinkel applied to August Wilhelm Iffland, the director of the Royal Theater, for the vacant post of set designer. He was turned down, probably for political reasons, but two years later the new director, Graf Brühl, gave him the post. In his highly informative commentary in his book on Schinkel’s stage designs, Helmut Börsch-Supan points out that the architect held strong views about theater reform and wished in particular to replace the baroque stage, with its many wing-flats and distorted perspective, with “a stage space limited by lateral structures—like [his] dioramas—concluding in the back with a single giant painting.” The enlargement of the proscenium and the dropping of the orchestra into a pit would, he contended, improve visibility, audibility, and perspective and be less expensive, always a consideration in enterprises supported by the Prussian crown. Schinkel was encouraged by Brühl and, between 1815 and 1828, designed over a hundred sets for forty-five plays and operas, beginning with his enormously popular twelve sets for The Magic Flute and including seven sets for Hoffmann’s Undine and others for productions of Gluck’s Alceste and Orpheus and Eurydice, Spontini’s Fernand Cortez, and Schiller’s Maid of Orleans.


Börsch-Supan’s second volume has more than thirty full-page color plates of these designs (a pleasure for the eye that is flawed only by an accidental duplication of a design for Spontini’s opera Olympia and the consequent omission of one of the sets for The Magic Flute). All are filled with architectural detail (it must have taken actors and singers of considerable presence not to be overwhelmed by it) based on sometimes daring hypothetical reconstructions that were derived not from observation but from research in secondary sources, as was true of the Egyptian backdrops for the Mozart opera.6

These activities made Schinkel something of a celebrity in Berlin, and as early as 1809 the panoramas in particular brought him to the attention of the royal family. He was commissioned to redecorate the Queen’s bedroom in Schloss Charlottenburg and to redesign part of the Kronprinzenpalais, and in 1810 was appointed to a position in the Higher Building Delegation, which oversaw the planning and construction of royal palaces and public buildings, where he remained for the rest of his life.

One must assume that the appointment was initially tentative, for when it was made Schinkel had not yet designed a building that had won the approval and admiration of professional architects. But this changed soon enough, and the next three decades saw a burst of creative energy that astonished his contemporaries. Schinkel’s first designs—the Gransee memorial to Luise, the simple but impressive decoration that he designed after the King established the Order of the Iron Cross in 1813, the plan for a national war memorial of 1816 (which was never executed), and the Kreuzberg war memorial, in the form of an elaborate cast-iron cross with figures by Christian Daniel Rauch, Friedrich Tieck, and Ludwig Wichmann—were Gothic in style and inspiration, for Schinkel seems to have believed with Goethe that Gothic was the German style7 and felt that it was the most appropriate one for Christian memorials. But he did not allow himself to be restricted by these feelings, and the three greatest works of his early maturity were classic in form. These buildings, which transformed the center of Berlin, were the Royal Guardhouse (Neue Königliche Wache), 1819, which stands at the end of Unter den Linden, next to the Armory and facing Knobelsdorff’s Opera House, the National Theater (Schauspielhaus), 1819–1823, on the Gendarmenmarkt, and the Museum in the Lustgarten, 1823–1830.

The first of these, a simple Roman-style guardhouse with a Greek temple portico, was later, after the First World War, to inspire Arthur Moeller van den Bruck to write his book The Prussian Style, in which he described it as

the most classic building in Berlin, in which Doric severity of surface was united with Attic delicacy of decoration…a combination of both purposes, the profane and the religious [kulthaft]: soldiers stood here under arms, but from here at the same time the army hailed its king—and the ever vigilant idea of the Prussian army seemed to be embodied in these rude, smoke-red, fire-brown walls, which open out into a gray stony spartan portico, befluttered by a frieze of Victories like butterflies. In the style of this guardhouse, Schinkel found his Schinkel style…which is based upon a solemn reconciliation of purpose and form.8

In his essay on Schinkel’s buildings in the exhibition catalog, Gottfried Riemann agrees. Without any of Moeller’s right-radical embellishments, he writes:

The characteristic features of the style which distinguishes all [Schinkel’s] works, large and small, from then on, were achieved at once and in full: the overall certainty of proportion, the consistency of the surface and spatial relationships and the fully reasoned significance of the details.

Schinkel’s lasting influence upon the appearance of his city is illustrated most dramatically by his theater and his museum. Before the construction of the first, the Friedrichstadt district of the city lacked a significant center, for Langhans’s theater in the spacious Gendarmenmarkt was gutted by fire in 1817, leaving an awkward void between the two baroque churches that stood at the opposite ends of the square. Schinkel solved the spatial problem by building the new national theater in such a way that its wings reached out to these so-called French (Huguenot) and German churches and created a unity with them that is still striking to the visitor today. Riemann writes:

Schinkel’s genius gave the new Theatre an incomparable form, with its broad flight of steps, its imposing façade of Ionic columns, the two main and side pediments, and the structural grid system of lateral elevation. It was also the first architecturally significant theatre building to be built in Germany.

The Museum, often called Schinkel’s masterpiece, is a rectangular cubic two-story building, fronted by a monumental row of eighteen Ionic columns above a flight of steps, which encloses two courtyards and well-planned exhibition rooms centered around a rotunda crowned by a dome inspired by the Roman Pantheon. The great staircase opens up a view, as one ascends, over the Lustgarten to the Royal Palace and Schinkel’s Friedrichs–Werder Church (1824–1830). The harmonious unification of space achieved by the location and design of the Museum was completed by another Schinkel creation, his impressive Castle Bridge (Schlossbrücke). Built of stone, with a cast-iron ornamental railing of seahorses, tritons, and dolphins, and with its pedestals crowned (after Schinkel’s death) by heroic statuary by artists of the Rauch school, this handsome structure linked the upper end of Unter den Linden, where the Opera House, the Armory, and Schinkel’s Guard House stood, to the Lustgarten, the Castle, and the new Museum, creating a varied but integrated architectural complex that few cities could equal.

Schinkel’s skill in harmonizing his buildings with their natural environment is to be seen also in his royal palaces in Potsdam and the nearby shores of the Havel river and lakes, notably in Prince Charles’s Schloss at New Glienicke and the castle of Prince (later King and Emperor) William on the Babelsberg. The former, which had been built in the prevailing neoclassical style of the eighteenth century, he remodeled, adding a garden court decorated with iron pergolas, fountains, and bronze statues, a handsome square clock-tower, and, beyond it, a coach house. The flat roofs of the buildings and the tower provided varied views, through the trees, of Potsdam and the Havel landscape, as did the casino in the park, the beautiful pavilion that was known as Schinkel’s “Great Curiosity,” and the elaborate semi-circular garden-seat (stibadium) that may have been suggested to Schinkel by a description in one of Pliny’s letters.9

In the case of Schloss Babelsberg, Schinkel wrote in the notes in his widely circulated book Architectural Designs:

The landscape of Potsdam, in the surrounding flat country of the Mark Brandenburg, is distinguished by an abundance of small hills and a series of lakes formed by the Havel river. The Babelsberg, situated on one of these lakes, presents one of the most idyllic locations in the area…. At present, only half of the plan…has been executed, but this already has significantly beautified the mountain, which previously had been totally wild and uncultivated. The part of the building which is yet to be constructed…will lend the greatest harmony and sense of completion to the whole site. The highest of the towers will have a terrace from which one can view the other side of the mountain, the many lakes, and the whole city of Potsdam.

Schinkel designed Schloss Babelsberg (which remained uncompleted during his lifetime) in the Gothic style, perhaps because he felt it appropriate to its Germanic setting of mountain and forest. He may also have thought that it formed an interesting contrast of styles with the neoclassical Glienicke Castle, which it overlooked across the Havel (as a somewhat fore-shortened oil by Carl Daniel Freydanck in the catalog shows) and one that was charged with the dramatic dualism or tension that was dear to the Romantic age. To historians, Babelsberg is remembered chiefly as the place where Bismarck met with King William in September 1862 and, after pledging that he would protect royal authority against encroaching liberalism, was given the authority over Prussian policy that he retained for almost thirty years. The feudal nature of this meeting suggests that the shadow cast by Babelsberg over the sunny landscape below became rather darker than Schinkel had intended.

In all of his work in Potsdam and the Havel region, Schinkel enjoyed the collaboration of his most gifted associate, Ludwig Persius, who concerned himself with much of the detailed work of construction, and of Peter Joseph Lenné, the general director of the Royal Prussian Gardens. It was Lenné, a landscape architect of genius, who—to mention only one of his achievements—made the Isle of Peacocks (Pfaueninsel), outside Berlin, which Frederick William III used as a retreat and a place for outdoor concerts and other diversions, the place of beauty that it remains today, a combination of heathland and forest with enchanting vistas and striking settings for such Schinkel creations as his late Gothic Kavalierhaus, modeled on a house in Danzig. In the exhibition’s catalog, an anonymous watercolor of the view from the portico of Schloss Charlottenhof in Potsdam shows the mastery with which Schinkel and Lenné created a landscape with sightlines that integrated buildings with their immediate surroundings while giving intriguing glimpses of distant objects.

Schinkel had two other important collaborators, the Crown Prince, Frederick William (after 1840, King Frederick William IV), and Peter Christian Wilhelm Beuth, founder of the College of Trade in 1821, head of the department of trade and industry in the Finance Ministry, and a leading member of the Association for the Encouragement of Trade and Industry in Prussia. The Crown Prince was perhaps the most attractive of the Hohenzollerns and the only one, after Frederick II, with any wit. Of Schinkel’s Schauspielhaus, he once remarked, “Ein vorzüglicher Bau. Und ist auch ein Theäterchen drin.” (“A superb building! And there’s also a little theater inside.”)10 He was a person of pronounced intellectual and artistic interests, with an aptitude for architecture that raised him well above the level of the gifted amateur. He admired Schinkel and, in moments when the architect was discouraged over projects that had been turned down or modified because of the parsimony of the King, raised his spirits by saying, “Cheer up, Schinkel! One day we’ll build together!”11 His freely offered advice to the architect was, not unnaturally, carefully weighed by Schinkel, who knew his position, but it was often good advice. Frederick William seems to have counseled against the first designs for the Berlin guardhouse and suggested changes that were accepted, and he had considerable influence on the choice of the site of the Museum and the basic form of the building. In the case of the Friedrichs–Werder Church (1824–1830; restored in the 1980s and now the Schinkel Museum), Schinkel’s first designs were neoclassical, one of them in the form of a Roman temple, but Riemann tells us that when the Crown Prince suggested that a “medieval style” would be more appropriate, given the appearance of adjacent buildings, Schinkel shifted to a twin-towered Gothic design in brick. In the building and redesigning of royal residences, the crown prince’s influence was naturally great, and this was particularly true of his own estate, Charlottenhof in Potsdam (see illustration on page 38), in the elaboration of which he worked closely with Schinkel and Lenné, with happy results that can be measured in twelve plates and architectural plans in the catalog.

Schinkel would undoubtedly have had great influence upon the industrial arts and crafts even if he had never known Peter Beuth. As Angelika Wesenberg tells us in her article “Art and Industry,” he had worked for a faience factory in Berlin even before his journey to Italy in 1803, making designs and painting ceramics, and in 1808, he designed a stove for the Höhler and Feilner Manufactory. But in 1821, when Beuth founded the College of Trade, in which ample provision was made for the encouragement of the applied arts and there were modeling, foundry, and tooling workshops, a pattern section, and space for silversmithing and textile weaving, Schinkel quickly became involved. Beuth and he were both fascinated by the applied art of past ages; Beuth collected cameos, coins, and other objets d’art; and Schinkel, improvising on classical and Renaissance models, made designs for objects in all materials. Out of this grew the college’s Examples for Manufacturers and Craftsmen, which Beuth began in 1821 in association with Schinkel and which was widely distributed, serving the same purpose for the applied arts as Schinkel’s Architectural Designs did for practicing architects.

Both men were interested in the changes being wrought by the Industrial Revolution in their linked spheres of interest, and this led them to embark upon their journey to Paris, England, and Scotland in 1826. Schinkel, involved in the construction of the new museum, wanted in particular to study similar projects in Paris and London (where the British Museum was being remodeled), but as a member of the technical department of the Ministry of Trade he was also intent upon investigating industrial construction in general, with an eye to discovering new techniques and the use of new materials. As a royal official, Beuth was charged with the promotion of trade and industry and was on the lookout for models that would improve Prussian production.

It was therefore a working trip, rather than a pleasure jaunt that they embarked on, although as good Germans the partners felt it a duty to include a visit to the land of Ossian and Fingal’s Cave and Iona. Gottfried Riemann’s splendid edition of Schinkel’s diary of the journey and the letters he wrote and the sketches he made during it (which are supplemented by marvelous paintings and lithographs by contemporary artists of the things he saw along the way) shows how strenuous it was. In London alone the diary records Schinkel’s impressions of the British Museum, the new buildings in Regent’s Park, the Covent Garden Theatre, John Rennie’s Southwark and London bridges, the London and West and East India docks, Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, which was under construction, and dozens of factories and workshops, and this was merely the preface to an intense tour of the Midlands, where the indefatigable pair inspected iron foundries, machine works, textile factories, thread mills, and potteries, as well as hospitals and churches. As they traveled, Schinkel made meticulously annotated sketches of the Brighton Pavilion, London Bridge, Magdalen College, Oxford, the Wednesday Oaks Iron Works near Dudley, the Edinburgh gas works, the Manchester canal and cotton spinnery, the new market in Liverpool, and anything else that attracted him by its novelty in design or construction.

The social effects of what he saw disturbed the Prussian architect, and in a diary entry of July 17, 1826, he wrote of the human misery that accompanied the industrial process in England and the material waste represented by the depreciation of facilities. In Manchester, he wrote:

Some buildings that cost 500,000 pounds sterling are now worth only 5,000. A terrible state of affairs! Since the war, 400 new factory complexes have been built in Lancashire. One sees the buildings standing where there were only meadows three years ago, but they look as black from smoke as if they had been in use for six hundred years. It makes a dreadfully uncanny impression: frightful masses of buildings run up by foremen, without architecture, for the barest necessity, and out of cheap brick.

Such reflections, passed on by Beuth to the proper authorities, may have affected factory construction in Prussia. Whether or not this was true, they reflected Schinkel’s firm opinion that not even the most utilitarian of buildings should be bereft of beauty, a principle that found triumphant justification in his designs for the Bauakademie (1832–1835) and the New Customs House (1832), brick and terracotta masterpieces that were significant additions to the urban landscape of Berlin.

The very range of Schinkel’s interests probably justifies the title chosen for the London exhibition and its catalog. There remains the question whether any consistent theory underlay his achievements, which one is tempted to answer by saying that as a theorist Schinkel never got very far beyond the principle that had been drummed into him by David Gilly, that economy and simplicity were of cardinal importance in building and that waste was to be avoided, and his own conviction that utility and beauty were compatible and desirable, and that whatever the historical model for a design it must embody something new. In a provocative article on Schinkel’s architectural theory in the catalog, Alex Potts quotes him in 1835 on the “error of pure arbitrary abstraction” which leads, Schinkel said, to developing “the entire conception of a particular work from its most immediate trivial function and from its construction, [and gives rise] to something dry and rigid, and lacking in freedom, that entirely exclude[s] two essential elements, the historical and the poetical.”

Yet, as Potts also points out, freedom of architectural design to Schinkel “involved not just liberation from material constraint, but also submission to some higher imperative.” As a humanist, he hoped that art might point ahead to the flourishing of a new mode of behavior in the world, and he believed that it was the duty of the artist to promote this end. But success presupposed a harmonious and unifying culture, of the kind that Schinkel and other German Romantics associated with classical Greece, and this neither existed nor was likely to emerge, since, in Schinkel’s words, “The modern period, with its pressing enterprises directed to the existence of the individual, does not attain reflectiveness and is absorbed in anxious activity.” This dilemma, Potts believes, accounts for the tension in Schinkel’s work and also for the utopian designs of his last years, fantastic complexes like his “residence of a ruler who in all respects stands at the pinnacle of culture and arranges his surroundings accordingly.” Potts suggests that this is

an attempt…to impose a manageable order on the modern world by way of an architectural plan…. [It] shares an element of aesthetic megalomania with Le Corbusier’s City of Tomorrow. Both projects are…pure monuments, ideal images of a harmonious and synchronised totality. At the same time these monuments masquerade as blueprints for a totally integrated social order, whether imposed by princely or bureaucratic fiat.

This imputation of totalitarian leanings seems inappropriate when applied to Schinkel, his royal patrons, or the Prussia of the 1830s. One has no hesitation, however, in accepting Potts’s further point, that in Schinkel’s architecture the tension between the lure of the mythic past and the appeal of the burgeoning present had remarkably productive results.

This Issue

June 11, 1992