Andreas Schlüter

(c. 1660—1714)

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(c. 1659–1714).

Born in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), he is claimed as a major Baroque sculptor and architect by both Germany and Poland. His first works included decorations at the Royal Chapel, Gdańsk (1681), the high-altar, Oliva Cathedral, near Gdańsk (1688), and various commissions in Warsaw, to which city he was called in 1683 to execute the sculptured decorations of the Krasiński Palace. He also carved the monument of Canon Adam Konarski for Frombork Cathedral (1686), made the high-altar for the Czerniaków Church in Warsaw (1690), and the shockingly powerful crucifix for the Church of the Reformati, Wẹgrów, which was a model for the style of the 22 ‘heads of dying warriors’ at the Zeughaus (Arsenal), Berlin (1696–8). He made four funerary monuments for the King of Poland, erected in Zólkiev, near Lwów (now in the Ukraine) (1692–4). In 1694 he moved to Berlin, and was sent by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg (1688–1713) on a study-tour to France and Italy. On his return he carved the elaborate heads and trophies at Nering's Zeughaus, succeeding Nering as architect in 1698, the year in which he was appointed to direct building works at the Schloss in Berlin, to transform it from an Electoral Residenz into a Royal Palace. He also created the equestrian statue of the Great Elector (Friedrich Wilhelm (1640–88), now at Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin. The Schloss was Schlüter's masterpiece, and showed the influences of his former Warsaw colleague, van Gameren, as well as of Bernini and Le Pautre. This great Baroque Palace was mostly finished when the Elector became King Friedrich I of Prussia in 1701, was completed by Eosander, badly damaged in 1945, and demolished in 1950 (an ideologically inspired act that makes nonsense of the historic fabric of the city). From 1701 to 1704, as Director of the Academy of Arts, Schlüter had an immense influence on artistic life in Berlin, and designed the Wartenburg Palace, Berlin (1702–4—later the Post Office—demolished 1889), and Villa Kamecke, Dorotheenstadt, Berlin (1711–12—destroyed). Following the collapse of the Münzturm (Mint Tower), Berlin (1704), he began to fall from favour, was removed as Schlossbaudirektor in 1707, and resigned from the Academy in 1710. In 1713 he went to St Petersburg where he made a major contribution to the planning of the new capital, and prepared designs for the grotto near the Summer Palace, the Peterhof, and Monplaisir. His work in Berlin influenced Fischer von Erlach, M. D. Pöppelmann, and G. W. von Knobelsdorff.

Gurlitt (1891);W. Hager (1942);E. Hempel (1965);Iwicki (1980);Karpowicz (1991);Ladendorff (1935);Mossakowski (1973);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Peschken (1993);Peschken & Klünner (1982);Jane Turner (1996)

Subjects: Architecture.

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