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The Goetheanum Cupola Motifs of Rudolf Steiner

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Gerard Wagner’s paintings of Rudolf Stiener's Goetheanum cupola sketches bring these works to a wide audience that would otherwise have little access to or knowledge of those representations of Steiner's artistic spiritual vision contained in the first Goetheanum and lost to the fire that destroyed that great building. Wagner re-created those archetypal motifs in new ways over a period of decades. They constitute an artistic high point of Wagner's work as a whole, but they cannot be separated from the Goetheanum itself, nor can they be fully understood except in the context of anthroposophic spiritual science. 

In this sense, The Goetheanum Cupola Motifs of Rudolf Steiner points to the historic and spiritual importance of the first Goetheanum building. Rudolf Steiner's lecture on October 25, 1914, and his lecture on the paintings of the small cupola on January 25, 1920, are published in English here for the first, along with color photographs from 1922. Also included are the little-known colored etchings of the Goetheanum window motifs made by by Assya Turgenieff with Rudolf Steiner, as well as other centrally important contributions to an understanding of this new direction in art. 


The Goetheanum Cupola Motifs of Rudolf Steiner

Though the main emphasis is on visual examples, the book achieves something more than simply cataloging these works of art. The book conveys, too, a sense of the artistic process itself. Thus, Gerard Wagner's observations here have a special relevance. In addition to the two lectures by Rudolf Steiner and the paintings by Gerard Wagner—in full color—The Goetheanum Cupola Motifs of Rudolf Steinerpresents essays from Peter Stebbing, Louise Clason, Assya Turgenieff, and Gerard Wagner. 

“Along with the architectural and sculptural forms of the double-domed first Goetheanum, the cupola paintings further epitomized the artistic conception of this unique building. The painting motifs extending over the surface of the two cupolas encompassed the evolution of the world as a whole, from its creation by the biblical Elohim to the great epochs of Lemuria and Atlantis that followed. Traversing the post-Atlantean cultural epochs, the beholder was gradually led to the building’s central motif: the Mystery of Golgotha as the mid-point of world evolution, with its implications for the future development of the Earth and humanity.” 
Sergei O. Prokofieff (from his foreword)


  • Foreword by Sergei O. Prokofieff
  • Preface
  • The Renewal of the Artistic Principle / Rudolf Steiner
  • Goethe and the Goetheanum / Rudolf Steiner
  • The Artists Who Originally Worked on Painting the Cupolas 
  • of the First Goetheanum / Peter Stebbing
  • Recollections of the Years of Painting in the Small Cupola of the First Goetheanum / Louise Clason
    • The Large Cupola Sketch-Motifs of Rudolf Steiner
    • Large Cupola Studies of Gerard Wagner
    • A Further Development of the Large Cupola Motifs / Peter Stebbing
    • The Paintings of the Small Cupola / Rudolf Steiner
    • Small Cupola Studies of Gerard Wagner
    • The Question of the North Side: 
      "Counter Colors" or "Complementary Colors"? / Peter Stebbing
    • Indications of Rudolf Steiner for Engraving the Window Motifs / Assya Turgenieff
    • On the Windows of the First Goetheanum / Rudolf Steiner
    • The Red Window Middle Motif Metamorphosed (Paintings of Gerard Wagner)
    • A Path of Practice in Painting / Gerard Wagner
    • Biographical Sketches
    • About the Painter Gerard Wagner / Peter Stebbing
  • Selected Bibliography