Whom the Bell Chimes

The Song of the Bell

Sung by Friedrich Schiller (1799) Sketched by Josef Hegenbarth (1922) Shown by the Hegenbarth Collection Berlin (2017)

12 October 2017 — 27 January 2018


For the first time, Josef Hegenbarth’s complete illustrations for the Song of the Bell by Friedrich Schiller are shown and published together with the text of this classical ballad – one of the most famous works of German poetry. The series Song of the Bell includes 33 drawings in watercolour, distemper and red chalk, in bold colours and with a strong, expressive gesture.

The Hegenbarth Collection Berlin holds large stocks of brush drawings, water colours, paintings, etchings, lithographs and portfolios of long series as well as solitary works by Josef Hegenbarth (1884 Boehmisch Kamnitz — 1962 Dresden). The focus of his oeuvre is on depictions of man and animal in everyday life and in literature. His themes cover scenes in public spaces: in the street, the zoo and circus, theatre, coffee houses and shelters, trams, construction sites, parks and swimming pools. He has also illustrated a wide variety of literature from the bible, Goethe, Cervantes, Dickens, Balzac, Zola, Tolstoy to Karl May’s adventures, fables and fairy tales.

Two more portfolios in the collection with elaborate illustrations by Josef Hegenbarth from 1922 have neither been completely exhibited nor published to the present day: The Song of the Nibelungs and the novella Life of a Good-for-Nothing by Joseph von Eichendorff. Over the next few years, the Hegenbarth Collection Berlin plans to also exhibit and publish these two series for the first time.


Opening reception: Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 19:00—21:00 h Children’s opening: Sunday, 15 October 2017, 12:00—14:00 h Exhibition runs from 12 October 2017 — 27 January 2018. For  Christmas break please see website.

Photo: Josef Hegenbarth, Weihung der Glocke (Consecration of the Bell), water colour and distemper, ca. 1922, ca. 50 × 42 cm, Hegenbarth Sammlung Berlin © SKD Kupferstichkabinett Dresden, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn 2017