From 1898 on, Bernhard Hoetger studied architecture and sculpture at the Kunstakademie (“academy of arts”) in Dusseldorf. Hoetger moved to Paris in 1900 and met August Rodin, who had a major influence on his work. During this period, he crafted a series of bronze sculptures, some of which were inspired by Art Nouveau. In 1904 he became acquainted with the sculptor Aristide Maillol, whose works led Hoetger away from a dynamic surface design to an austere, closed form. In 1911 he was appointed to the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony. During his time in Darmstadt, Hoetger was able to create a diverse sculpture ensemble in the Plane Tree Grove on the occasion of the last exhibition of the Artists’ Colony in 1914. From the sculptor’s compositional masterpiece “Licht- und Schattenseiten (“Light and Shadow”), which consists of 15 allegorical figures made of majolica, four monumental figures can be found on the Mathildenhöhe today.