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

Quadriga

1793
Chased copper on wood, height 550 cm
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

In 1789 Schadow started work on the piece that counts as the most monumental large Neoclassical sculpture in Berlin - the Quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate. The Quadriga was conceived as the Triumph of Peace. Schadow did the drawings for it from equestrian models in the Royal Stables and the veterinary School. Turning these into a monumental group proved extraordinarily tricky, even though the work was in the hands of highly qualified technicians and assistant sculptors. The work was finally completed in chased copper, partly because there were no experienced bronze-casting workshops in Berlin, and partly because of the considerable problems inherent in the weight of such a monumental bronze group. For this, Schadow's plaster model was transferred to a large wooden model by a carpenter's workshop, which was then covered with sheet copper by a coppersmith.