Jens Lorenzen and the Idstedt Lion

After nearly 150 years, the monumental statue of the Idstedt Lion is returning to its original location at the Old Cemetery in Flensburg, Germany where it was constructed in 1862.

In 1849 Schleswig-Holstein formed an army to fight against the Danish kingdom. This movement wasinitiated by the March Revolution of 1848 and had its roots in the French Revolution. In 1850 the Danish forces won the furious battle of Idstedt against the Schleswig-Holstein army. Afterwards, Schleswig-Holstein became Danish, prompting Denmark to put up the Idstedt-Lion monument in Flensburg to celebrate their victory. By 1863the united forces of Austria and Prussia defeated Danish in Schleswig-Holstein, and the Idstedt Lion was brought to Berlin. Since the end of World War II, the Idstedt Lion found a new home in Copenhagen. On 10 September 2011, HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark will ceremonially unveil the sculpture near the Flensburg Museum.

This autumn, the Flensburg Museum will be hosting an exhibition to commemorate the return of the Idstedt Lion to the city. Historical sketches, models, photographs, and documents will accompany various works of art focusing on the lion as a symbol. Included in this exhibition is a series of large-scale oil paintings dedicated to the lion by Schleswig native Jens Lorenzen. As a “wall” hanging side by side, they show in ironic refraction the many meanings attached to the lion as a symbolic figure, for the past as well as present.

The exhibition is open from September 10 to November 20, 2011. For more information, please go to or contact the gallery.

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