Schadow Johann

Berlin, Germany

20.05.1764 - 27.01.1850

Sculptor, painter, cartoonist, art theorist.

Shadov was born into a tailor’s family. He studied with the court sculptor Jean-Pierre-Antoine Tassaert (1727-1788), invited by the Prussian King Frederick II. In 1778 he entered the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. From 1785 he studied in Rome, in 1787 he returned to Berlin. In 1788, after Tassar’s death, Shadov assumed the positions of head of the court workshop and secretary of the Berlin Academy of Arts. Since 1805 — Vice-director, and since 1815 — Director of the Academy of Arts.

Among the works of Shadov , the following are the most notable:

  • tombstone of Count Alexander von der Mark (marble, 1788-1790, Old National Gallery, Berlin) in the form of a sarcophagus with the figure of a sleeping boy,
  • the tombstone of Friedrich Wilhelm Schütze (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Schütze) in Schöneich (1798),
  • The quadriga with the goddess of Victory on the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (1789-1794; bronze; destroyed in 1945; a copy was installed in 1957-1958),
  • monument to Frederick II in Stettin (1792-1793, original not preserved; late bronze casting — in the Park of Sans Souci, Potsdam),
  • sculpture group “Crown Princess Louise and Princess Friederike” (marble, 1796-1797, Old National Gallery, Berlin, plaster copy on display in the Friedrichswerder Church building in Berlin),
  • busts of K. M. Wieland (1805), I. V. Goethe (1822-1823; marble, Old National Gallery, Berlin), Henrietta Hertz (1783), Princesses Friederike and Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1794-1795), F. Gilly (1801), more than a hundred busts in total,
  • monument to the Prussian General G. L. Blucher in Rostock (1819, bronze),
  • monument to M. Luther in Wittenberg (1821, bronze).
  • Shadov was interested in the theory of art and wrote about the proportions of the human figure, national physiognomy, etc. Among his works are:
  • “The Doctrine of Bones and muscles” (German: Lehre von den Knochen und Muskeln, 1830),
  • “Polyclet, or on the measures of a person depending on gender and age” (German Polyklet oder von der Massen der Menschen nach dem Geschlechte und Alter, 1834),
  • “National physiognomies, or observations on the difference between facial features and the external appearance of the body” (German National-Physiognomien oder Beobachtungen über den Unterschied der Gesichtszüge und der äusseren Gestalt des Körpers, 1835),
  • “Works of Art and views on Art” (German: Kunstwerke und Kunstansichten, 1849).

Shadov was interested in chess and played it well, he became one of the founders of the Berlin Chess Club, which was the first in Germany. It existed from 1803 to 1847, and was often called Schadows Schachklub in honor of Shadov, the founder and chairman of the club. Initially, it included up to 34 members, but in 1805 there were already 139. The club became the center of intellectual life and freedom of thought in Prussia. The meeting of the club is depicted in the painting “A game of chess at the Foss Palace in Berlin” by Johann Erdman Hummel.

Reference: Wikipedia, 2010



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