Portrait busts of Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

The impetus for this project was the realization that even more than 160 years after the death of Fanny Hensel, née Mendelssohn, no portrait bust of this major composer existed. The Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft thus began looking for ways to encourage the creation of such a sculptural portrait.

The first success came in 2014, when the first-ever bust of Fanny Hensel was created by the Berlin artist Björn Paulissen for the permanent exhibition “The Mendelssohn family and their graves near Hallesches Tor. Paulissen’s attempt to capture the historic composer’s personality in his sculpture sparked a debate over which tools and which contemporary portraits should best be used to create modern likenesses of persons who lived long ago.

The Mendelssohn-Gesellschaft’s original plan to organize a competition for a bust of Fanny Hensel was abandoned after the Cornelsen Kulturstiftung commissioned the sculptor Lore Plietzsch to create two busts of the composer siblings Fanny Hensel and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. These were officially handed over to the public in a ceremony held in the courtyard of the Mendelssohn Remise on March 8th, 2015. This was accompanied by an introductory presentation on the sculptor’s work and her two busts by the art historian Dr. Sibylle Badstübner-Gröger.