Statues - Hither & Thither

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Peter Lenk

Konstanz /  Imperia   Konstanz /  Imperia


The Imperia shows a woman holding two men on her hands. The two men represent Pope Martin V and Emperor Sigismund. Martin V was elected during the Council while Sigismund was the king who called the council. Both are naked except for the crown and papal tiara, respectively, that they wear as symbols of their power.

Konstanz - Imperia Konstanz - Imperia Konstanz - Imperia Konstanz - Imperia

The statue refers to a short story by Balzac, La belle Impéria. The story is a harsh satire of the Catholic clergy's morals, where Imperia seduces cardinals and princes at the Council of Constance and has power over them all. The historical Imperia was a well-educated Italian courtesan named Lucrezia de Paris who was born in 1485 in Ferrara, well after the council, and never visited Konstanz.

The concrete statue is 9 metres high, weighs 18 tonnes, and stands on a pedestal that rotates around its axis once every four minutes. The statue commemorates the Council of Constance that took place there between 1414 and 1418.

Information Sign

Römische Lebedame und Muse.
Skulptur (9 m hoch, 18 to schwer).
Erbaut 1993 vom Bodmaner Bildhauer
Peter Lenk nach einer Geschichte
von Honoré de Balzac über
das Konstanzer Konzil (1414-1418).

Konstanz - Imperia


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 47°39'38" - E 9°10'52") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: debw294; Photograph: 3 October 2014
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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