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Haller von Hallerstein, Carl, Freiherr

    Image Credit: Wikipedia

    Full Name: Haller von Hallerstein, Carl, Freiherr

    Other Names:

    • Carl Freiherr Haller von Hallerstein

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 10 June 1774

    Date Died: 05 November 1817

    Place Born: Burg Hiltpoltstein, Nuremburg, Germany

    Place Died: Ampelakia, Thessaly, Greece

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Ancient Greek (culture or style), archaeology, architecture (object genre), and sculpture (visual works)


    Architect to Ludwig I of Bavaria; one of the earliest archaeological excavators of sculpture in Greece. Haller was born to a noble family and studied architecture in Karlsruhe at the Karls-Akademie, and later under David Gilly (1748-1808) at the Bauakademie in Berlin. His fellow pupils in Berlin were the later architects Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841) and Leo von Klenze (1784-1864). Haller made a visit to Italy in 1808 where he studied early Christian architecture and drew the views of Rome. Haller returned to Nuremburg briefly as a building official. In 1810 he moved to Athens, accompanied by Jakob Linkh (1786-1841), P. O. Brøndsted, Otto von Stackelberg (1787-1837) and Georg H. C. Koës (1782-1811), where he spent the remainder of his life excavating archaeological sites. In 1811 he met the British architect/archaeologist C. R. Cockerell, and John Foster (1887-1846). Together with Linkh and Stackelberg, he discovered and excavated the Temple of Aphaia at Aigina. Haller and Cockerell agreed to let their respective governments bid at auction for the stones. Haller persuaded (then Prince) Ludwig of Bavaria to acquire the pediment sculptures for Ludwig’s new museum in Munich when the British failed to appear for the bidding. Late in 1811, the group (minus Cockerell who was in Sicily) excavated at Bassai, with Haller in charge this time, exhuming the frieze of the Temple of Apollo. This time Cockerell prevailed upon his government and the sculptures were acquired by the British Museum, London. Haller made and collated many notes of the digs (now at the University of Strasbourg, published 1976). He also did some architectural commissions. His architectural designs included the commemorative temple, for Ludwig I, Walhalla, near Regensburg, in 1813 and early plans for the Glyptothek sculpture gallery in Munich. Neither of these designs was executed. It is likely that Leo von Klenze used Haller’s notion of a hill setting, for his design of Walhalla, which was executed between 1830 and 1842. Haller caught a fever in Thessaly in 1817 and died. He was buried there but later re-interred at the Protestant cemetery in the Hephaisteion in Athens. The Carl Haller von Hallerstein Gesellschaft, Munich, is named in his honor. Haller’s precise drawings and systematic approach to excavation (one of the earliest to do so) are his lasting contribution to art history. Cockerell used many of Haller’s drawings in his publications The Temple of Jupiter Panhellenius at Aegina, and of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae near Phigaleia in Arcadia (1860).

    Selected Bibliography

    Roux, Georges, ed. Le temple de Bassae: relevés et dessins du temple d’Apollon à Bassae, conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire de Strasbourg. Strasbourg: La Bibliothèque, 1976.


    Archäologenbildnisse: Porträts und Kurzbiographien von Klassichen Archäologen deutscher Sprache. Reinhard Lullies, ed. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1988: 16-17; Bankel, Hansgeorg. Carl Haller von Hallerstein in Griechenland 1810 – 1817: Architekt, Zeichner, Bauforscher. Berlin: Reimer, 1986; –Und die Erde gebar ein Lächeln: der erste deutsche Archäologe in Griechenland Carl Haller von Hallerstein 1774-1817. Munich: Süddeutscher Verlag, 1983; Frässle, Klaus. Carl Haller von Hallerstein (1774-1817). [Ph.D. dissertation] Freiburg im Breisgau, 1971; Dictionary of Art; Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 561-62.

    Contributors: Lee Sorensen


    Lee Sorensen. "Haller von Hallerstein, Carl, Freiherr." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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