The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Schadow-Godenhaus, Friedrich Wilhelm

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SCHADOW-GODENHAUS, gō'dĕn-hows, Friedrich Wilhelm, younger brother of the preceding, German painter: b. Berlin, 6 Sept. 1789; d. Düsseldorf, 19 March 1862. He received his first lessons in drawing from his father, then turned to painting and became the pupil of Weitsch. He served in the war between 1806 and 1807 and three years later resumed his artistic studies in Rome, where Cornelius, Overbeck, Veit and others had founded the new school of the Nazarenes (q.v.). He joined their company and from that time made the Italian masters his models, while the favorite subjects of his pencil were biblical, or selected from the mystical and allegorical wonders of mediæval tradition. As in the case of Overbeck, his devotion to this latter field of human imagination led him to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church. He painted ‘Heaven's Queen’ for Madame von Humboldt and a ‘Holy Family’ for the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. The best work he did at Rome is seen in the frescoes for the Casa Bartholdy; ‘Jacob with Joseph's Bloody Coat’; ‘Joseph in Prison’ (both in the Berlin National Gallery). In 1819 he was called to Berlin as professor of the Art Academy there. During his incumbency he painted the ‘Bacchanalian Procession’ on the proscenium of New Theatre; many portraits; the ‘Visit of the Wise Men’ in the Garrison Church at Potsdam and another altar-piece for the church at Schulpforta. One of his finest pictures is 'Freeborn Poetry,' a lovely winged maiden rising from earth to heaven. In 1826 he was made director of the Academy in Düsseldorf and with a circle of enthusiastic pupils became the founder of the Düsseldorf school. He retained this connection until 1859, when age and failing sight led him to retire. Among his religious paintings are ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’; ‘Christ at Emmaus’; ‘The Dead Body of Christ watched over by his Mother surrounded by Angels’ (1836). His health drove him to seek a change in the warmer climate of Italy (1840), and at Rome he painted ‘Earthly and Heavenly Love’; ‘Piety and Vanity in their Relationship with Religion,’ the last appearing under the form of the Saviour, and ‘Heaven, Purgatory, Hell’ after Dante. As an author he wrote ‘The Influence of Christianity on the Painter's Art’ (1843). His paintings are mostly found in Düsseldorf and Berlin, but one of his best works, the ‘Wise and Foolish Virgins,’ is in the Museum at Frankfort-on-the-Main. He was perhaps more successful as a teacher and demonstrator than as a creative artist, but he had a very distinct, even though one-sided influence, upon the religious art of Germany. He gave a new and vigorous impulse to the oil painting of his day without resorting to that pre-Raphaelite realism which sometimes lent to the canvases of Cornelius a certain crudeness bordering on the grotesque. Consult Hübner, ‘Schadow-Godenhaus und seine Schule’ (1869).