The New International Encyclopædia/Drake, Friedrich Johann Heinrich
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Drake, Friedrich Johann Heinrich
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DRAKE, drä'ke, Friedrich Johann Heinrich (1805-82). A German sculptor, born at Pyrmont, June 23, 1805. His father was a turner, and the son also served an apprenticeship in cabinet-work. His talent in clay-modeling attracted the attention of Dr. Mundhenke, a relative of Rauch, who in 1827 obtained for him admission into the sculptor's atelier. Drake also studied in Italy, where he came under the inlluence of Thorwaldsen, but Rauch was his principal master, and his first works were executed under Rauch's directions. The best of them is a group representing a “Dying Warrior” (1833), crowned with the laurel of victory; a “Madonna and Child,” bought by the Empress of Russia; and a graceful statue of a “Female Vine-Dresser” (National Museum, Berlin). His early works also include a series of excellent portrait statuettes of Goethe, Schiller, Rauch, the two Humboldts, and other celebrities. In 1836 he modeled the colossal bronze statue of Justus Möser, a German patriot, for Osnabrück, and in 1844 he completed the plaster statues of the eight “Provinces of Prussia” for the White Hall in the Royal Palace of Berlin. Among his best works is the marble statue of Frederick William III. in the Thiergarten, Berlin; the frieze crowning the circular pedestal, 18 feet in height, represents the enjoyment of nature, and is one of the most graceful works of modern sculpture. Noteworthy among his other works is the noble marble statue of Christian Rauch, in the vestibule of the New Museum, Berlin; another of the sculptor Schinkel (1869), and a marble group in the Schlossbrüche representing a “Warrior Crowned by Victory” (1850). Perhaps the most important of all his monumental works is the colossal bronze statue of King William of Prussia (1867), for the iron bridge of Cologne. At the Paris Exhibition (1867) this monument was adjudged the most remarkable work of modern sculpture, and brought to the sculptor the great gold medal of the Legion of Honor. His latest works include the colossal bronze statue of Alexander von Humboldt in Philadelphia and busts of Bismarck and von Moltke. Drake is one of the foremost representatives of the German School of sculpture of the nineteenth century. His art is manly and strong, but not without a high appreciation of beauty of form. It is not a reflection of the antique, like that of Canova, but more original and modern. In his portrait work he renders the character of the subject in its most attractive features, but without false idealization. He was highly regarded by contemporaries, having been professor of the Academy of Berlin and member of the academies in Munich, Saint Petersburg, Antwerp, Rome, and of the Institute of France. He died in Berlin. Consult: Lübke, History of Sculpture, vol. ii. (London, 1872); Heinrich, Rauch, Rietschel und Drake (Basel, 1884).