SCHADOW, Johann Gottfried
(b. 1764, Berlin, d. 1850, Berlin)

Biography

German sculptor, graphic artist, and writer on art. He travelled in Italy. 1785-87, and in 1788 he settled in Berlin, where he became head of the Academy in 1816. His style was Neoclassical (he knew Canova in Italy), but 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) (1793) surmounting the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which was badly damaged in the Second World War. His finest achievement is perhaps the charming and sensitive group of The Princesses Luise and Frederika of Prussia (Staatliche Museen, Berlin, 1795-97). From the 1820s his sight deteriorated and he turned more to graphic work (he was a draughtsman, engraver, and lithographer) and to writing on art theory.

He had three artist sons; Felix Schadow (1819-1861), Ridolfo Schadow and, most importantly, Wilhelm von Schadow. Wilhelm was in Italy 1811-19 and a member of the Nazarenes. He taught at the Berlin Academy, then in 1826 became Director of the Düsseldorf Academy, which he helped to make into a leading centre of history painting.