TASSAERT, Jean-Pierre-Antoine
(b. 1727, Antwerpen, d. 1788, Berlin)


Flemish sculptor. He was born in Antwerp to a family of sculptors, and was first trained by his father. He soon left for London and in 1746 moved on to Paris, where he entered the workshop of the sculptor René Michel Slodtz. Once in Berlin, he became court sculptor, also being appointed director of the Academy of Arts and head the royal sculptural workshop.

Tassaert was best known as a master of mythological genre sculpture, and besides numerous portraits did many allegorical pieces clearly showing the transition from Rococo to early Neoclassicism. In his few large-scale works, such as those of generals Seydlitz and von Keith, he was one of the first sculptors to show men not in the robes of the Antiquity, but in contemporary clothing. Tassaert developed a Rococo-Neoclassicism, transmitted via influences from Britain, that coincided with the taste of the time. As a professor at the school of sculpture in Berlin, his naturalistic, objective approach had a particularly notable influence on his pupil and successor Johann Gottfried Schadow, thereby setting the tone for the Prussian sculptural tradition of the whole 19th century.

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