The New International Encyclopædia/Rauch, Christian Daniel
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Rauch, Christian Daniel
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RAUCH, rouK, Christian Daniel (1777-1857). The most celebrated German sculptor of the nineteenth century. He was born January 2, 1777, at Arolsen, in the Principality of Waldeck. His father was employed at the Court of Prince Frederick II. of Hesse, and in 1790 the lad was apprenticed to the Court sculptor Valentin at Arolsen; in 1795 he became assistant to Ruhl, Court sculptor at Cassel. On the death of his father in 1797, Ranch abandoned sculpture temporarily, and entered the personal service of King Frederick William III. of Prussia. Studying at odd moments, he came under the influence of Johann Gottfried Schadow; in 1802 he exhibited his first statue, a “Sleeping Endymion and Artemis,” and in 1803 his bust of Queen Louise. In 1804 he went to Rome, provided with a small stipend. During his six years' stay at Rome his art was chiefly influenced by Thorwaldsen and by the antique. Among these early works were reliefs of “Hippolytus and Phedra,” “Mars and Venus Wounded by Diomedes,” and busts of the King of Prussia and Queen Louise, besides others executed by order of the King of Bavaria for the Walhalla.
In 1818 he was summoned to Berlin by the King and given the commission for a monument to Queen Louise in the royal mausoleum at Charlottenburg. The marble statue of the Queen, dressed in a light garment which charmingly reveals the figure, reclines on a simple sarcophagus. This work, one of the most interesting in modern German sculpture, gave Rauch a European reputation. A similar statue of the Queen, even more successful, was placed in the park of Sans Souci at Potsdam. While engaged upon his works he found time to model numerous excellent portrait busts, among the best of which are those of Dürer (1837, Walhalla), of Thorwaldsen for the King of Denmark, and a colossal bust of Goethe (1820). In 1819 he established a royal atelier of sculpture in Berlin, and assisted Schinkel in his scheme for the museum, which was finished in 1830.
A projected statue of Goethe for Frankfort was modeled, but not executed, though a charming statuette of the poet in his study gown is well known. Ranch made an interesting series of bronze statues of German heroes of the Napoleonic wars, the best of which are at Berlin and at Breslau. Other important works are: the monument of the two Polish princes Mieczislaw and Boleslaw, in the Cathedral of Posen (1840); the statue of Albrecht Dürer in Nuremberg (1840); the Max Joseph monument in Munich (1833); the gable group and six smaller Victories for the Walhalla near Regensburg. His greatest work is the immense bronze monument of Frederick the Great in Berlin (1839-51). A colossal equestrian statue of the King surmounts a pedestal, about the base of which are groups of generals and soldiers, and bas-reliefs representing scenes in the life of Frederick. Ranch's works combined, to a remarkable extent, absolute natural truth with ideality of character, and he succeeded in the difficult task of adapting modern costume to the ideal portrait representation. He was the founder of the Berlin school of sculpture, the most important in Germany, and in which his spirit yet prevails. Consult: Abbildungen der vorzüglichsten Werke Rauchs mit erläuterndem Text von Waagen (Berlin, 1827-29); Eggers, Christian Daniel Rauch (5 vols., ib., 1873-90), the leading biography, upon which Cheney's Life of Christian Daniel Rauch (Boston, 1893) is based; Dobbert, Rauch (Berlin, 1877); Eggers, Rauch und Goethe, urkundliche Mittheilungen (ib., 1889); also Merckle, Das Denkmal König Friedrich des Grossen (Berlin, 1894).
STATUE OF FREDERICK THE GREAT IN BERLIN