Martin Luther (Rietschel)

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Martin Luther
Artist Ernst Friedrich August Rietschel
Year 1884 (1884)
Type Bronze
Dimensions 350 cm (138 in)
Location Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°54′22.76″N 77°1′53.99″W / 38.9063222°N 77.0316639°W / 38.9063222; -77.0316639
Owner Luther Place Memorial Church

Martin Luther is a public artwork by German artist Ernst Friedrich August Rietschel, located at Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, D.C., United States. Martin Luther was originally surveyed as part of the Smithsonian's Save Outdoor Sculpture! survey in 1993. The monument is a bronze full-length portrait dedicated to theologian Martin Luther.


Martin Luther stands dressed in long robes with his proper right leg moving slightly forward. The sculpture, which shows an excommunicated Luther defending himself during his trial before the Diet of Worms in 1521, features Luther resting his proper right hand on top of a large Bible that he holds in his proper left hand. His hair curls around his face and he looks outwards, looking slightly upwards. The sculpture stands on a three-tiered granite base (H 168 in. x W. 138 in.) and is surrounded by sunflowers and overlooks Thomas Circle.

The back of the sculpture, near the base, is engraved:


In raised letters on the front of the base along with the founder's mark:



Martin Luther is cast from an original mold of the portrait by Rietschel which stands in Worms, Germany and was installed there in 1868. The version in Washington inspired the installation of eleven other castings across the United States.[1]


This sculpture was surveyed in 1993 for its condition and was decided that treatment was "urgent."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Save Outdoor Sculptures! (1993). "Martin Luther, (sculpture)". SOS!. Smithsonian. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 

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