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JOHANN HEINRICH VON DANNECKER (1758-1...

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 810 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHANN HEINRICH VON DANNECKER (1758-1841), German sculptor, was born at Stuttgart, where his father was employed in the stables of the duke of Wurttemberg, on the 15th of October 1758. The boy was entered in the military school at the age of thirteen, but after two years he was allowed to take his own taste for art. We find him at once associating with the young sculptors Scheffauer and Le Jeune, the painters Guibal and Harper, and also with Schiller, and the musician Zumsteeg. His busts of some of these are good; that of Schiller is well known. In his eighteenth year he carried off the prize at the Concours with his model of Milo of Crotona. On this the duke made him sculptor to the palace (178o), and for some time he was employed on child-angels and caryatides for the decoration of the reception rooms. In 1783 he left for Paris with Scheffauer, and placed himself under Pajou. His Mars, a sitting figure sent home to Stuttgart, marks this period; and we next find him, still travel-ling with his friend, at Rome in 1785, where he settled down to work hard for five years. Goethe and Herder were then in Rome and became his friends, as well as Canova, who was the hero of the day, and who had undoubtedly a great authoritative influence on his style. His marble statues of Ceres and Bacchus were done at this time. These are now in the Residenz-schloss, at Stuttgart. On his return to Stuttgart, which he never afterwards quitted except for short trips to Paris, Vienna and Zurich, the double influence of his admiration for Canova and his study of the antique is apparent in his works. The first was a girl lamenting her dead bird, which pretty light motive was much admired. Afterwards, Sappho, in marble for the Lustschloss, and two offering-bearers for the Jagdschloss; Hector, now in the museum, not in marble; the complaint of Ceres, from Schiller's poem; a statue of Christ, worthy of mention for its nobility, which has been skilfully engraved by Amsler; Psyche; kneeling water-nymph; Love, a favourite he had to repeat. These stock subjects with sculptors had freshness of treatment; and the Ariadne, done a little later, especially had a charm of novelty which has made it a European favourite in a reduced size. It was repeated for the banker Von Bethmann in Frankfort, and it now appears the ornament of the Bethmann Museum. Many of the illustrious men of the time were modelled by him. The original marble of Schiller is now at Weimar; after the poet's death it was again modelled in colossal size. Lavater, Metternich, Countess Stephanie of Baden, General Benkendorf and others are much prized. Dannecker was director of the Gallery of Stuttgart, and received many academic and other distinctions. His death in 1841 was preceded by a period of mental failure.
End of Article: JOHANN HEINRICH VON DANNECKER (1758-1841)
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