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Mural Painting | The Ballroom in the South Wing of the Villa Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Inventory and examination for historical colourfulness

Studentsiche Projektarbeit im Festsaal der Villa MendelssohnBartholdy
© Tjalda Eschebach
Teaching project
Student project
Cooperation partners:

House owner: Felix Müller-Stüler

Object: Villa Mendelssoh Bartholdy, Bertinistr. 3, 14469 Potsdam
Date of construction: Built in 1906
Owner: Felix Müller-Stüler
Processing time: from 26 - 30 September 2016 Project week/investigation campaign on site; documentation at the FH from October to February 2017


In the period from October 2016 - February 2017, the 3rd semester had the opportunity to examine the (festival) hall in the south wing of the Villa Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Bertinistr. 3 within the project assignment of "Examination for historical colourfulness". The results of the on-site inventory and colour investigation, including the photographic record and the evaluations of the archive research on the object, the Mendelssohn Bartholdy family and the supposed origin of the room shell, were summarised in a documentation.

The southern extension to the existing villa was built in 1906 by the then owner Otto von Mendelssohn Bartholdy through the architectural office of the "Saalecker Werkstätten", headed by the architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg. There is no question that this extension was definitely intended as a room shell for the furnishing of a hall, as this is clearly proven by the floor plans available. More interesting, however, is the presumed finding, due to the lack of archives, that the room shell was perhaps not originally planned in detail by the "Saalecker Werkstätten" and implemented for this location. On the basis of various observations of the built-in architectural surfaces of the elliptical hall interior and the resulting corner niche situations and the stylistically irritating flat ceiling connection, a number of inconsistencies are thus apparent that could point to a "secondary use" of this room shell.


On the basis of the colour investigations carried out, it was possible to determine a total of six colour phases in this room, i.e. six phases of colour reworking, the chronological classification of which can only be assumed hypothetically due to various reconstruction measures and conditions of use in the building, which can be taken from the archival records. Relatively certain are the colours around 1906, i.e. the supposed "first version" in this room, and the last visible colour version, which at least took place before 2004, since the current owner, Mr. Müller-Stüler (since 2004), has never had any work done in this room. The ceiling, the floor as well as all the garden doors to the east and south were certainly not originally installed until the completion of the room envelope. The origin of the installation of the nine hall axes made of wood (passage frames and return fields) and stucco (pilasters, sopraports), which could theoretically have been transported and installed in a mobile manner due to their manufacture, thus remains unclear. The fact is, however, that the stucco frame has one more frame, which means that it could theoretically have had a frame on the stucco support even before a supposed relocation. Conclusive and definitive proof could not be provided by this colour investigation.


Eschebach, Tjalda: "Potsdam Der Festsaal der Villa Mendelssohn Bartholdy - entworfen für Potsdam oder transloziert aus Rom?" In: Brandenburgisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologisches Landesmuseum (ed.) Brandenburgische Denkmalpflege, Heft 2, Aachen 2020, pp. 63 - 72.



Project management

Dipl.-Rest. Tjalda Eschebach

Dipl.-Rest. Tjalda Eschebach

Workshop Manager Conservation and Restoration – Mural Painting

Students of the 3rd semester

  • Laura Bluhm
  • Louis-Frederic Büsser
  • Luisa Bulian
  • Antonia Döß
  • Gesa Fahrenbruch
  • Lisa Kurze
  • Ioannis Savvidis
  • Kristine Skubenica
  • Annika Tober
  • Caroline Stricker