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Ludwig Buchhorn

(1770 Halberstadt – 1856 Berlin)

Portrait of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Lithograph on brownish wove paper. 33 x 22 cm. Exhibition catalogue Karl Friedrich Schinkel Architektur Malerei Kunstgewerbe, Berlin, Schloß Charlottenburg, 1981, p. 110, no. 1c.

This rare lithograph reproduces a marble bust of Schinkel which the Berlin sculptor Christian Friedrich Tieck (brother of the poet Ludwig Tieck) had made in 1819. The portrait was high-ly praised by the art historian and longstanding confidant of Schinkel, Gustav Friedrich Waagen, on account of its vitality and trueness to the original; it is rightly considered to be the best Schinkel portrait. At the time the bust was created Schinkel was already enjoying success as an up-and-coming architect. He had built the Neue Wache in Berlin and was busy completing the Schauspielhaus (Theatre) at Gendarmenmarkt. This portrait bust, with its slightly heroic air clearly inspired by likenesses of Roman emperors, testifies to the respect, not to say veneration, in which the only slightly younger Tieck held the universal genius Schinkel. The face with its fine, wavy hair and strong noble features radiates resoluteness, youthful dynamism and an alert intelligence.

True to classical tradition, Ludwig Buchhorn chose to do his lithograph in profile. This somewhat austere mode of presentation gives the portrait a concentrated force. The print is executed in a sweeping yet accurate style, which perfectly expresses the sitter’s mental energy and strength of will. Buchhorn, a painter and printmaker, was a pupil of Daniel Berger at the Berlin Academy. After several years spent in the employ of the Chalcographic Society in Dessau, the artist lived and worked from 1806 onwards in Berlin. In his home town he distinguished himself not only as a printmaker and portraitist but also as a painter, and after 1812 held several academic posts.

An excellent, contrasting and nuanced impression with wide margins. Minimal ageing and defects, otherwise in perfect condition.

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