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Schadow, Friedrich Wilhelm

SCHADOW, FRIEDRICH WILHELM (1780-1862), painter, second son of JOHANN GOTTFRIED SCHADOW. In 1806- 1807 he served as a soldier; in 1810 he went with his elder brother Rudolph to Rome. He became one of the leaders among the German pre-Raphaelites. Following the example of Overbeck and others, he joined the Roman Catholic Church, and held that an artist must believe and live out the truths he essays to paint. The sequel showed that Schadow was qualified to shine less as a painter than as a teacher and director.

The Prussian consul, General Bartholdi, befriended his young compatriots by giving them a commission to decorate with frescoes a room in his house on the Pincian Hill. The artists engaged were Schadow, Cornelius, Overbeck and Veit; the subject selected was the story of Joseph and his brethren, and two scenes, the Bloody Coat and Joseph in Prison, fell to the lot of Schadow. Schadow was in 1819 appointed professor in the Berlin Academy, and his ability and thorough training gained devoted disciples. To this period belong his pictures for churches. In 1826 the professor was made director of the Dusseldorf Academy. The high and sacred art matured in Rome Schadow transplanted to Dusseldorf; he reorganized the Academy, which in a few years grew famous as a centre of Christian art to which pupils flocked from all sides. In 1837 the director selected, at request, those of his scholars best qualified to decorate the chapel of St Apollinaris on the Rhine with frescoes, which when finished were accepted as the fullest and purest manifestation of the Dusseldorf school on its spiritual side. To 1842 belong the " Wise and Foolish Virgins," in the Stadel Institute, Frankfort; this large and important picture is carefully considered and wrought, but lacks power. Schadow's fame indeed rests less on his own creations than on the school he formed. In Dusseldorf a reaction set in against the spiritual and sacerdotal style he had established; and in 1859 the party of naturalism, after a severe struggle, drove the director from his chair. Schadow died at Dusseldorf in 1862, and a monument in the platz which bears his name was raised at the jubilee held to commemorate his directorate. (J. B. A.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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