*** individual artists illustrating boys fashions -- Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow

Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow (Germany, 1789-1862)

Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow

Figure 1.--Von Schadow married Charlotte von Groschke (1820). They had two children: Sophie and Johann Gottfried Rudolf. He painted this portrait of the children (1830). The girl wears a dress looking somewhat like the Empire style popular in the early-19th century. The boy wears a simple dress. We are not sure to what extent this reflects actual children's wear at the time. His other portraits look like actual period children wear. The background is clearly idealized. The children's barefeet seem an artistic device suggesting a return to nature and innosence. A reader writes, "Notice how von Schadow depicted the children's feet in a realistic way. We can see already their feet deformed by the hard footwear used at the time. These are not children used to walking barefoot." Compare them to the Beggar Children painted by one of Schadow's stuents, Johann Georg Meyer von Bremen.

Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow was a German romantic painter. He was born in Berlin during a time of enormous change (1789). At the time this was part of the kingdom of Prussia. He was the second son of the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow, who designed 'The Berlin Quadriga'. His father gave him his first instruction in drawing as a boy. When he became interested in painting, he studued under Friedrich Georg Weitsch (1758-1828), a well established artist. He served as a soldier in the Prussian Army (1806-07) This was during disastrous Fourth Coalition in which Austria and Prussia were decisively defeated by Napoleon in some of his greatest vicvtories. None of this, however, shows up in his art. Rather we see a lot of Christian-themed works. After his military experience, he went to Rome with his older brother Rudolph. He became one of the most important painters in the the Nazarene movement. Prussian was a Protestant country, but Schadow decided to convert to Catholcism seeing that as how is art was leading him which he lectured and wrote about. He is thus often decribed as a painter and writer. Schadow developed paintings for churches. He was made director of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf which he reoriented towards the production of Christian art (1826). He was a founder of the of the Düsseldorf school. Art historins generally see his imoprtance not in his paintings, but in his role in founding the Düsseldorf School. He was appointed to teach Berlin Academy. He was by all accounts a talented teacher. Some of his pupils followed him to Düsseldorf (1836). It was there where he had his greatest success. We notice some portraits, but his work is dominated by relgious scenes. Von Schadow married Charlotte von Groschke (1820). They had two children: Sophie and Johann Gottfried Rudolf. He painted a portrait of the children (1830) (figure 1). We notice several other portraits of interest for our fashion study. Several look like normal commissioned portraits for German boys. One is Paul and Max Von Mila, aristocratic German boys in Berlin. The boys are the sons of the Germamn historian G. Mila. We know it was painted in the Belin brecase Bellevue Palace, a Belin landmark is in the background. It is one of Schadow's earliest portraits, probably about 1810. Schadowwas still developing his prtiture skills. The boys wear black suits with short jackets. They are not, however, skeleton suits because the jackets do not button onto the pants. Both boys have open collars with plain, but not very promounced pointed collars and white vests. They look to be about 8-11 years old. Another is a portrait of Felix Schadow, his younger brother. Felix was only a little older than Schadow's son. He was about 10 years old when the portrait was painted in 1830. He is painted as a school boy. We are not sure about a portrait of Polish siblings--'Wieńczysław and Konstanty Potocki in childhood' painted in 1820. We asre not sure what to make of it. We thought at first this wax a depiction of medieval children. But 1820 was when Schadow was in Italy. (The scene outside the window looks more Italian than Polish--perhaps Rome or Florence.) We know nothing about the two children, but the Potocki family was a prominent Polish aristocratic family with a long history. This was during the Congress Kingdom of Poland era before the 1830 rising against the Russians when Poles were fairly free to travel. We are not sure if the family were among the French or Russisan oriernted Poles. We suspect this was a regular portrait commission and not any attempt at historical painting. The clothing, especuilly the boy's clothing, however, does not look much like 1820s styles to us.


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Created: 4:12 AM 4/24/2022
Last updated: 6:55 PM 4/25/2022