Johann Gottfried Schadow


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(b Berlin, 20 May 1764; d Berlin, 27 Jan. 1850).

German sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker, and writer on art. In 1785–7 he lived in Rome, then settled in his native Berlin. His style was essentially Neoclassical (he became a friend of Canova in Rome), but it retained a degree of Baroque liveliness. He was active mainly as a portraitist and tomb sculptor, but his best-known work is the quadriga (four-horse chariot) (completed 1791) surmounting the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which was badly damaged in the Second World War and has been replaced by a copy. His finest achievement is perhaps the charming and sensitive group of the Princesses Louisa and Friderica of Prussia (1795–7, Alte NG, Berlin). From 1815 until his death he was director of the Berlin Academy and his later years were mainly devoted to teaching, administration, and writing on art theory. He had three artist sons: FelixSchadow (1819–61), a painter, RudolfSchadow (1786–1822), a sculptor, and, most importantly, Wilhelmvon Schadow (b Berlin, 6 Sept. 1788; d Düsseldorf, 19 Mar. 1862), who was a painter and writer on art. In 1810–19 he lived in Rome, where he became a member of the Nazarenes. From 1826 to 1859 he was director of the Düsseldorf Academy, which he helped to make into a leading centre of history painting. In 1845 he was ennobled and added the aristocratic ‘von’ to his name.

Subjects: Art.

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