The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Rauch, Christian Daniel

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RAUCH, rowCH, Christian Daniel, German sculptor: b. Arolsen, western Germany, 2 Jan. 1777; d. Dresden, 3 Dec. 1857. In Arolsen he received his first instruction in art from the sculptor Valentin, under whom he executed ornamental work chiefly. Going to Cassel he became a pupil of Kuhl, the sculptor, and was appointed groom of the chamber in the king's household at Berlin. This gave him an opportunity of advancing in his art, and in 1802 he exhibited his ‘Sleeping Endymion’ and modeled a bust of Queen Louise (1804), which he subsequently executed in marble at Rome. In this city he found a patron in Humboldt, as well as in the first sculptors of the time, Canova and Thorwaldsen. Among his Roman work of early days must be mentioned the busts of the poet Werner, the life-sized busts of Queen Louise, Count Wenyerski, the painter Raphael Mengs, executed under the commission of Ludwig of Bavaria, and the bassi-relievi of ‘Hippolytus and Phædra’ and ‘Mars and Venus Wounded by Diomedes.’ By 1824 he had executed 70 busts in marble of which 20 were of colossal size. His colossal bronze statues of Blücher are 13 feet in height, and he also executed the greater part of the 12 statues in iron which compose the national monument at Kreuzberg, near Berlin. One of his finest works is the group ‘Faith, Hope and Charity,’ which he presented to his native town, Arolsen, while his crowning work as a portrait and historic sculptor is his statue of Frederick the Great at Berlin (1851), the result of 20 years' labor. He was one of the first, if not the very first, among German sculptors of his time, combining in his work the pure lines of transcendent dignity and grace with genuine portraiture of the individual. There is a poetic freedom in his conception of ideal subjects which does not yet overstep the limits of truth and fidelity to natnre, and he may be safely styled the founder of the great Berlin school of sculpture. Consult Eggers, ‘Chr. n. Rauch’ (1873); ‘Rauch und Goethe, urkundliche Mitteilungen’ (1880).