- Museum number
- Object: Theodor Körners Grabstätte
The gravesite of the poet Theodor Körner next to a large oak tree. 1814
- Production date
Height: 301 millimetres
Width: 226 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Antony Griffiths and Frances Carey, 'German Printmaking in the Age of Goethe', BM 1994, no.110 :
Theodor Korner (1791-1813) was a precocious playwright from Dresden, who at the age of twenty-two was appointed house dramatist to the Burgtheater in Vienna. He knew Friedrich (1981,0725.2) and wrote two sonnets on his painting 'Abbey in the oak forest', which were posthumously published in 1815. In 1813 he joined the Lützow Freikorps, a volunteer division that had its headquarters at Wöbbelin in Mecklenberg. It attracted the flower of German romantic youth, including many writers and artists. Among them was Friedrich Olivier, the brother of Ferdinand, who made a drawing of Körner after he was killed in a skirmish near Gadebusch in Mecklenberg in August. Körner's father, a close friend of Schiller, issued a collected edition of his patriotic poems in 1814 under the title 'Leyer und Schwerdt' (Lyre and Sword), which was immensely popular all over Germany.
Hence the decision in 1814 to erect a tomb, which was designed by the Dresden architect Thormeyer. Darnstedt, also from Dresden and a pupil of Zingg, was one of the most successful engravers of the period; in a short space of time he became a member of the Academies at Dresden, Berlin, Milan, Copenhagen and St Petersburg, receiving favourable notice from Goethe. That a leading engraver should concern himself with an occasional print such as this, shows the significance attaching to the commission.
The tomb, like many others in Germany at this time, was cast from iron, which was of great symbolic significance. The Prussian military decoration of the Iron Cross was founded in 1813, and women's jewellery too was made from iron rather than traditional precious materials. This was so well made and designed that Berlin iron jewellery became fashionable throughout Europe long after the end of the Napoleonic wars, being copied even in France (see Willmuth Arenhövel, 'Eisen statt Gold', Berlin 1982, and 1981,0620.57).
According to Thieme-Becker, the preliminary drawing by Thormeyer (who designed the tomb-stone) and other designs for this monument are in the 'Körnermuseum in Dresden'; it seems that this museum no longer exists and it is possible that these items were later transferred to the Thoerdor-Körner-Museum in Wöbbelin.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994/5 Sept-Jan, BM, 'German Printmaking in the Age of Goethe', cat. 110.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number