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(b Stuttgart, Oct 15, 1758; d Stuttgart, Dec 8, 1841).

German sculptor and collector. He received his initial artistic training (1771–80) at the Militärische Pflanzschule in Stuttgart, where he revealed a talent for drawing and sculpture. His most important tutors were the Belgian sculptor Pierre François Lejeune (1721–90) and the French painter Nicolas Guipal, an admirer of Mengs. Also of great importance to Dannecker were friendships with his fellow sculptor and rival Philipp Jakob Scheffauer (1756–1808), with the painter Philipp Friedrich Hetsch, and above all with the German writer Friedrich Schiller, who had a decisive influence on Dannecker’s intellectual development. In 1780 Dannecker was appointed court sculptor at Stuttgart and was thus obliged to decline later offers to work in Dresden, St Petersburg and Munich. His first undertaking was to complete sculptural sketches by others, for example Lejeune. From 1783 to 1785 Dannecker visited Paris to study with Augustin Pajou and there came to know the virtuoso portrait sculpture of artists working under Louis XVI. He then went on foot to Rome, where he remained for four years. Because of his enthusiasm for antique art, he was soon known as ‘il Greco’. He cultivated the acquaintance of the Swiss sculptor Alexander Trippel, the antiques restorer and dealer Capvaceppi, and, most important of all, the already well-established Italian sculptor Antonio Canova. The classical outlook favoured by Canova had a decisive effect on Dannecker’s subsequent work....

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(b Copenhagen, Nov 13, 1768 or Nov 19, 1770; d Copenhagen, March 24, 1844).

Danish sculptor and collector, active in Italy. He spent most of his working life in Rome, where, after the death of Antonio Canova in 1822, he became the foremost Neo-classical sculptor. Although the heroic quality of his early Roman work was later modified by certain naturalistic features, he never abandoned his fundamental, classicizing ideals (see fig.). His pan-European reputation led to commissions from public and private patrons in many countries, and in order to supply these he ran a large and well-organized studio. His collection of contemporary paintings was probably the finest in 19th-century Rome and, together with many of his sculptures, is now housed in the Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen (opened 1848). (Unless otherwise stated, the models and versions of the works mentioned in this entry are there.) In the decades after his death, the taste for Neo-classicism, and thus his reputation, declined, and it was not until the mid-20th century that his art was re-evaluated....