The Minstrel's Curse - Object of the month

Cliffe Castle Museum

September 2017

"My name is Ashley Coleman and I am studying at South Craven Sixth Form. As part of the schools work experience programme, I have come to Cliffe Castle Museum. My chosen 'object of the month' is The Minstrel's Curse marble statue by Carl L.H Muller. This can be found in the Bracewell-Smith Hall within the Museum.  

Carl Muller was a German artist, who moved to America in 1850 and also took this statue with him. He received a Gold Medal for this sculpture and it was presented at many notable exhibitions in New York and in London. I am not particularly interested in art history, but this piece caught my eye as well as the intriguing story behind it. Muller based this piece on a poem by a German poet, Ludwig Uhland. The story is of two minstrels, who were medieval musicians or singers, that performed in front of a cruel King and an unhappy Queen. The Queen enjoyed the music so much that she threw a rose to one of the men. The King was overcome with jealousy and he stabbed the man. The other minstrel proceeded to curse the King. The staute depicts this moment, and the man on the floor can be seen to be holding a rose and have blood dripping from his side. The amount of detail that Muller achieved is phenomenal and he really must have taken a long time to obtain that level of intricacy, and also in order to highlight the story behind it.

The thing that I found most pleasing about this statue is the positioning of both minstrels. The figure standing up shows great power and once you see it in person, the height of it really makes an impact. The face shows clear anger and when combined with the positioning, it shows how much emotion there is within the piece. Muller has created an astounding piece of art that doesn't nearly get as much recognition as some of the other famous works out there."

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