Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Artist biography:Johann Gottfried Schadow is known as the most important German Neoclassicist sculptor.
Due to his humble beginnings, he started his apprenticeship with Tassaert, a rather mediocre sculptor. For three years he studied in Rome where he markedly found his style. In 1788 he returned to Berlin and succeeded his master as sculptor to the court.
Schadow created a variety of church monuments and memorial works but also worked as a porcelain painter at the royal porcelain factory. In 1795 he moulded the quadriga of the Brandenburg Gate and the allegorical frieze on the facade of the royal mint in Berlin.
Schadow was appointed as director of the Berlin Academy and had great influence on Prussian arts, for instance, through his writings on the proportions of the human figure or on national physiognomy. Schadow’s art was distinctly Neoclassicist and naturalistic in character but his work also displayed a Romantic element.
Busts of Frederick the Great in Stettin (Szczecin), Blücher in Rostock and Luther in Wittenberg are some of his most prominent works.