Alboin King of the Longobards

Germanic Hero-Kings of the Migration Period


Germanischen Heldenkönige der Völkerwanderung

In 1868, the wealthy merchant Heinrich Lingg, the brother of the German poet Hermann Lingg, privately commissioned Julius Naue to adorn the principle chamber of Villa Lingg in Lindau on Lake Constance, with eight monumental frescoes, each seven feet in height, illustrative of Lingg's popular poem, Die Völkerwanderung (The Migration of Peoples), representing Rome (Roma), Germania, and the six great Germanic Hero-kings of the Migration period [Die 6 grössten germanischen Heldenkönige der Völkerwanderung], including Alaric at Rome, Odoacer surrendering Ravenna to Theodoric, the Frank Chlodwig, the Lombard Alboin, Geiserich the King of the Vandals, and other chief personages and events of that era.

That same year, painter Julius Naue exhibited eight cartoons at an art expo in Munich which were to be painted al fresco in the villa of the merchant Lingg in Lindau. The subject is made up of the most outstanding heroes from the Great Migration. The wall opposite the hall entrance will be decorated with the grieving Roma and the triumphant Germania, followed by Goth Alaric, the Vandal Geiseric, then the Franconian king Clovis, the Longobard Alboin, the Herul prince Odoacer and at the end the Visigoth Theodoric. The figures with their characteristic emblems stand in round arches around which festoons wind, and show good characterization, namely Chlodowig and Albion are well executed. (Über Land und Meer: allgemeine illustrirte Zeitung 1868).

Ferdinand Gregorovius, a vistor to the home in late September of 1868 remarked, "Visited the villa of Lingg, a merchant and brother of the poet of Völkerwanderungen. He has some of the barbarian kings of the poem painted in fresco in his room beside the Germania and Roma of which he seems not a little proud." Today Villa Lingg, at Schachener Straße 103, Lindau im Bodensee, is described as the former summer residence of the physician Heinrich Lingg, a late classicist cross-gable building after the mid-19th century, with flat gable roofs projecting on the lakeside, Belvedere structure with tower of stairs; interior frescoes by Julius Naue around 1870; associated greenhouse and octagonal bathing house on the harbor. So all or some of the frescos are still there.

Katalog der Internationalen Kunst-Ausstellung zu München, 1879: Eight Cartoons to the Frescos for the Villa Lingg bei Lindau.

  1. The grieving Roma.
  2. The triumphant Germania.

The 6 great Germanic Hero Kings of the Migration Period:

  1. Alarich, King of the West Goth
  2. Geiserich, King of the Vandals
  3. Chlodowig, King of the Franks
  4. Alboin, King of the Lombards
  5. Odoaker, King of the Hercules
  6. Theodorich, King of the East Goths

Dr. Konrad Ritter von Zdefauer in his Kriegs- und Friedensfahrten, Band 1, (1881) observes: "Here, at the place where the poet Hermann Lingg wrote his mighty epic, "Der Völkerwanderung" his brother, the art-loving merchant Heinrich Lingg, erected a memorial to this most important of the recent national heroic poems, otherwise only donated through princely patronage. Lingg let Julius Naue, a pupil of Schwind, paint frescos of the most prominent figures of the migration as their subject in the hall of his country house. When you enter through the vestibule, you can see the youthful Germania and the aged Roma which has been overcome, on the walls on both sides of the window. On the opposite side, these figures are aptly pronounced, the painter has based their characterization wholly on the poetry presented with great understanding."

-William P Reaves