Casa di Goethe
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Schadow in Rome
Drawings by Johann Gottfried Schadow between 1785 an 1787

In 1785 Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764-1850) eloped with his future wife from Berlin, visiting Vienna, Venice and Florence before his arrival in Rome where the artist lived and worked for more than two years. The Italian studies formed his style and Schadow matured into one of the most important European sculptors. Decades later the artist remembers that wherever he went, “his drawing book was always in his pocket“ and that in Rome “he had tried like a bee to suck the honey of many flowers”. Schadow preferred the public collections for his tireless drawing from paintings and antique sculptures, but he also observed the Roman everyday life and did sketches of his familiy. In 1852 the Berlin Royal Academy of Arts (where Schadow had been director for may years) acquired the roman sketch books from the artist’s heritage. The group of drawings is now presented for the first time, featuring the various aspects of his Roman stay and showing how his ambition and application prepared Schadow for the prestigious sculptural challenges he was confronted with after his return to Berlin, first of all the famous Quadriga on the Brandenburg gate Though Goethe stayed in Rome at the same time and lived not far from Schadow, the two artist never met in Italy. However later on they got in contact and Schadow visited Weimar several times, even if their relation was also characterized by arguments and misunderstandings. There talked about common projects and in 1822/23 Schadow modelled his famous portrait of Goethe. One section of the exhibition is dedicated to this very special chapter of the relationship between two self-conscious representatives of very different ideas of art. The exhibition has been conceived by the Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der K?nste, Kunstsammlung, Berlin, to which property the Schadow drawings belong today. A bilingual catalogue of 160 pages with ca. 80 illustrations accompanies the exhibition.

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