RAUCH, Christian Daniel
(b. 1777, Arolsen, d. 1857, Dresden)

Tomb of Queen Louise of Prussia

Mausoleum, Charlottenburg Park, Berlin

Directly after the queen of Prussia, Louise died in 1810, King Frederick William III asked Humboldt to invite the Rome-based sculptors Thorvaldsen, Canova and Rauch to submit designs for a memorial tomb for the queen for the mausoleum in Charlottenburg. The client wanted to see his deceased wife depicted on her sarcophagus in the form of death as eternal sleep, merely dozing, and ready to be wakened any moment. When he came to see the tomb executed by Rauch, the King "broke into a flood of tears as he saw the head of his beloved deceased wife laid down for sleep, so eloquently lifelike did he find her."

In this monument Rauch succeeded in combining two trends in Neoclassical sculpture of his day to make a new visual language. On the one side were the individualizing traits in the sculpture of his Berlin teacher Schadow, on the other the canonically idealized images of his Roman friend Thorvaldsen By developing a kind of synthesis of these two approaches, Rauch succeeded in creating one of the masterpieces of Neoclassical sculpture, which received unqualified admiration.

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