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White ceramic full length sculpture of two women standing side by side

Two young women are sculpted leaning against each other in a relaxed pose. They each have long wavy hair and wear long flowing robes. One woman, slightly taller, looks off to her right and stands with one leg crossed in front of the other, gathering part of her robe to her side in her right hand, as she rests her left arm around the neck of the other woman. The second woman looks down and to her left, reaching up with one hand to touch the hand of the first woman, as she also holds the first woman around her waist.

Gallery Text

Johann Gottfried Schadow worked as a sculptor on many architectural projects in Berlin and was central in establishing the neoclassical tradition there. This unglazed ceramic, or biscuit, reproduces in reduced scale one of his most famous marble sculptures, which was commissioned in 1796 by King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia. Typical of Schadow’s style, it joins classical references with naturalistic specificity. Presented as figures from the ancient past in their dress and hairstyles, the sisters also recall, through their poses, famous Roman sculptures of mythological siblings. At the same time, their facial features identify them unequivocally as the Prussian sisters portrayed by many contemporary artists. The composition’s popularity ensured its reproduction in casts such as this one throughout the nineteenth century.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
After Johann Gottfried Schadow, German (Berlin Berlin 1764 - 1850 Berlin)
Crown Princess Louise of Prussia and her Sister Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Other Titles
Alternate Title: A Large Berlin Group of the Princesses Luise and Friederike von Preussen
Original Language Title: Berlin Figurengruppe der Prinzessinnen Luise und Friederike von Preussen
Work Type
c. 1825-1850
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century
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Physical Descriptions

Biscuit porcelain
54 x 29.8 x 19.7 cm (21 1/4 x 11 3/4 x 7 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • maker's mark: impressed on the underside of the base with the mark of the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (Royal Porcelain Manufacture, Berlin): I / KPM / H V
  • label: bears a partial label on the underside of the base: ...5051 [This corresponds to the label reading "STE5051" that is recorded in the Sotheby's catalogue of the Thurn und Taxis sale, lot no. 2095.]


Recorded Ownership History
Thurn und Taxis Collection, Regensburg, Germany, by whom sold; [Sotheby's, Geneva (sale held in situ at Schloss St. Emmeram, Regensburg, Germany), 12-21 October 1993 (this work sold 16 October 1993), lot 2095], to; [Angela Gräfin von Wallwitz Continental Ceramics and Works of Art, London], to; Dr. Crawford H. Greenewalt, Jr., Berkeley, CA, 1994, bequest; Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Crawford H. Greenewalt Jr.
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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