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Johann Gottfried Schadow

(1764–1850, Berlin)

Self-portrait. Chalk lithograph in an oval frame. 17.4 x 15 cm. 1824. Mackowsky 95.

This intense self-portrait shows Schadow at the age of sixty with a flat cap on his head and wearing a frock coat over a high-collared white shirt and loosely tied cravat. He gazes at the beholder with an attitude of pride and self-confidence. His phy­siognomy with the striking boxer’s nose is full of virility and resolution.

At the time he made this lithograph Schadow was a renowned and highly successful sculptor and had also estab­lished himself in Berlin as an etcher and lithographer. Furthermore, he had been appointed Director of the Royal Prussian Academy of Arts and, a few years after this portrait was taken, was also made an honorary doctor of philosophy at Berlin University. The present portrait served as the title lithograph for the work Wittenbergs Denkmäler der Bildnerei, Baukunst und Malerei issued in 1825 by a local publisher, Traugott Heyne. This par­ticular impression is a rare trial proof. On the verso there is a fragment of a lithograph of Joseph Caspar (1799 Rorschach – 1880 Berlin) which R. A. Winker does not record (Die Frühzeit der deutschen Lithographie). A superb, crisp impression with the full margins. In mint condition.

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