Friday, 24 February 2012

The Heroine and the Moment

Queen Louise of Prussia
neoclassical images of female power
Prinzessinnengruppe by J.G. Schadow, Nationalgalerie, Berlin.
Photo source: Web Gallery of Art

- coming soon to mark the anniversary of the birth of Louise,  
on 10th March, 1776.


Back view of Schadow's sculpture of two young German princesses: standing on the right, the taller Louise (1776 - 1810), married to the crown prince, later king Frederick William III of Prussia, and her younger sister, Frederica (1778 - 1841), who at the time was married to his younger brother.

The elder sister was mytholigized as the Prussian Madonna, a national saviour incarnating the virtues of the perfect wife and mother during the war against Napoleon, while the younger, longer-lived, and three-times married sister had a scandalous reputation amid rumours of adultery and murder, the latter allegation being unsubstantiated.