„Old Bridge with Nepomuk“ by Ch. Ph. Koester

Christian Philip Koester’s (1784-1851) picture “Old Bridge with Nepomuk” portrays the hallow Johannes Nepomuk who has been the patron saint of the Old Bridge of Heidelberg since 1738. After the bridge’s damage in 1784, caused by a flood, and after its reconstruction the statue of Nepomuk was not positioned there anymore. Koester brings the former patron saint in his picture to the patron’s initial place. Since the reconstruction of the Old Bridge you can find Nepomuk’s statue at the  Neuenheimer Landstraße, placed in front of a garden. In the painting the Nepomuk statue stands with its back to the observer and faces the river Neckar and Heidelberg’s Old City.

You can say in his work Koester, who was painter and restorer during his lifetime, brings back the Nepomuk statue to its initial place and reconstructs it completely at least in his picture. Koester creates by the statue of the saint who is looking down at the town a guarding and watching instance.  Furthermore it seems like the Nepomuk statue attributes a holy manner to Heidelberg for the statue is placed in the very foreground of the picture and faces the town. So you may assume the Nepomuk statue spread its sacredness to the whole town Heidelberg.


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