Ferdinand Schlöth

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Arnold Winkelried's monument on the village square in Stans, erected in 1865
St. Jacob's Monument in Basel, 1871
Basilisk since 2008 at Lange Erlen Zoo , designed in 1879, cast in 1880

Lukas Ferdinand Schlöth (born January 25, 1818 in Basel ; † August 2, 1891 in Lutzenberg AR ; buried in Thal SG ) was a Swiss sculptor of late classicism .


Lukas Ferdinand Schlöth grew up as the son of the Berlin-based locksmith Heinrich Ludwig Schlöth in Basel. He first completed an apprenticeship as a locksmith with his father and worked in his father's workshop for several years. After his father's death in 1839, he initially continued the workshop together with his older brother Friedrich Ludwig Schlöth. He also took drawing lessons from Hieronymus Hess and attended the modeling class of the sculptor Johann Heinrich Neustück . From 1843 he trained as a sculptor in Rome . His fellow countryman Heinrich Maximilian Imhof , with whom the relationship later turned into a spiteful rivalry , was probably one of his teachers . In 1847 he opened his own studio there . In 1874 he married the wealthy widow Emma Müller-Gengenbach and returned to Switzerland. He then lived and worked alternately in Basel and Lutzenberg (Canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden).


He emerged victorious in a competition for a Winkelried monument in Stans in 1855. Its inauguration in 1865 made Schlöth one of the most renowned sculptors in Switzerland. This was followed by the equally heroic memorial for the battle of St. Jakob an der Birs in Basel (inaugurated in 1872). With these two monuments Ferdinand Schlöth set new standards in the category of political monuments, even if his solutions remained almost without direct successor. In 1873 he also won the competition for the Tegetthoff monument in Vienna, but his design was not carried out, as were his award-winning designs for the Zwingli monument in Zurich. In addition to monuments, Schlöth created mainly round sculptures and reliefs with mythological, biblical or allegorical themes as well as numerous portrait busts, including a whole cycle of scholar busts for the museum in Basel (completed in 1876). In 1870 Richard Kissling from Solothurn became his most famous student. Another student of Schlöth in Rome was the Baptist Hörbst . In the 1850s, Schlöth also influenced the young Reinhold Begas . His nephew Achilles Schlöth was one of his late students .

Schlöth's work was shaped by late classicism in the successor to Bertel Thorvaldsen , but it also took inspiration from newer trends in occidental sculpture (realism, neo-baroque). Almost all of his works are made of white Carrara marble and show a subtle, differentiated surface treatment characteristic of the Thorvaldsen school. In individual works that were created without commission, Schlöth went beyond the taste limits of classicism, for example in the sensual, expressive relief Maenad and Pan from 1853 (today in the Swiss National Museum) or in a faun modeled in 1883, which has not survived , the Schlöth around a horn brought from Rome , an «objet trouvé», shaped around.

Works (selection)

  • Statue of Martin Eduard Alfred Burckhardt, marble, 1847, Basel Historical Museum
  • Statue of Albert Burckhardt, marble, 1847, Basel Historical Museum
  • Psyche, marble statue, 1850, Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Jason with the golden fleece, marble statue 1852, Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Maenad and Pan, marble relief, 1853, Zurich, Swiss National Museum
  • Bacchante (Allegory of Autumn), marble statue, around 1854, private collection
  • Ball racket (pallone player), marble statue, 1863, private property
  • Winkelried monument in Stans, marble, 1865
  • Martin's sculpture at Basel Minster
  • St. Jakobs monument in Basel, marble, 1871 (inaugurated in 1872)
  • Adam and Eve before the Fall, marble group, 1873, Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Ganymede with eagle, marble relief, 1873, Skulpturhalle Basel (Depositium Gottfried Keller Foundation )
  • Busts of professors, marble, 1873–1876, formerly the museum on Augustinergasse (now the Natural History Museum Basel ), since 2008 as a deposit in the sculpture hall
  • Models of the basilisks for the Wettstein Bridge in Basel, 1879 (erected in autumn 1880)
  • Christ, marble bust, 1883, Skulpturhalle Basel (deposit of Basler Kunstverein)
  • Leda with the swan, marble, 1890/91, Sculpture Hall Basel (deposit of Basler Kunstverein)
  • Bust of Karl Sarasin in front of the St. Alban Gate


  • 1892: Sculpture hall of the Basler Kunstverein
  • 1986: Nidwalden Museum , Stans (Winkelried Monument)
  • 2004/2005: Sculpture Hall Basel
  • 2018: The marble portraits of the Burckhardt boys by Ferdinand Schlöth , Haus zum Kirschgarten , cabinet exhibition in the Basel Historical Museum
  • 2018: The basilisk, Zeus and the kidnapped professors. Mythical creatures and portraits by the Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). Sculpture Hall Basel.


  • Arnold Winkelried, his memorial in Stans. Exhibition catalog. Nidwalden Museum Stans, Stans 1986.
  • Max Burckhardt : On the history of the St. Jakob monument and the St. Jakob festival. In: Basler Jahrbuch. 1939, pp. 94-126
  • Dorothea Christ : Painter and sculptor of the Basel Artists Society 1850–1950. Exhibition catalog. Kunsthalle Basel, Basel 1980.
  • Karl Flüeler: The Winkelried monument from Stans. Stans 1965.
  • Stephan E. Hauser: Schlöth, Lukas Ferdinand. In: Biographical Lexicon of Swiss Art. Volume 2. Zurich 1998, p. 940 f.
  • Stefan Hess , Tomas Lochman (ed.): Classical beauty and patriotic heroism. The Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). Catalog for the exhibition of the same name in the Skulpturhalle Basel. Basel 2004, ISBN 3-905057-20-4 .
  • Stefan Hess: Between Winckelmann and Winkelried. The Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86805-954-0 .
  • Tomas Lochman: Antiche sculture nell'opera dell'artista svizzero Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). In: Mario Guderzo (Ed.): Gli ateliers degli scultori. Atti del secondo convegno internazionale sulle gipsoteche. Fondazione Canova, Possagno. Terra Ferma 2010, ISBN 978-88-6322-073-5 , pp. 145-156.
  • Brigitte Meles: Ferdinand Schlöth's St. Jacob's monument. In: Werner Geiser (Ed.): Event - Myth - Interpretation, 1444–1994 St. Jakob an der Birs. Basel 1994, pp. 140-164.
  • Brigitte Meles: The St. Jakobs Monument in Basel. Bern 2012, ISBN 978-3-03797-074-4 ( Swiss art guide . )
  • Meyer's Large Conversation Lexicon. Volume 17. Leipzig 1909, p. 875 ( online ).
  • Alexander Schlatter: Also a self-portrait of the artist: St. Jakobs Monument, St. Jakobs-Strasse. In: Cantonal monument preservation Basel-Stadt. Annual report 2010. pp. 28–29.
  • Martina Stähli: The Influence of the Second Basel Artists' Society on the Creation Process of the Second St. Jacob Monument by Ferdinand Schlöth, in: Axel Christoph Gampp (Ed.): Der Kunst und der Geselligkeit. The three Basel artist societies 1812–1900. Publication on the occasion of the exhibition in Basel University Library, Basel: Basler Künstlergesellschaft, 2014, 978-3-033-04697-9, pp. 73–83.
  • Franz August Stocker : Ferdinand Schlöth. In: From the Jura to the Black Forest. 9 (1892), pp. 53-80.
  • Dieter Ulrich : Lukas Ferdinand Schlöth. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . 2010
  • Otto Waser: Schlöth, Lukas Ferdinand. In: Swiss Artist Lexicon . Edited by Carl Brun. Volume 3. Frauenfeld 1913, pp. 57-62.

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Hess, Tomas Lochman (ed.): Classical beauty and patriotic heroism. The Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891). Basel 2004, p. 26 and p. 47.
  2. Old Basel: St. Jacob's Monument. Retrieved July 17, 2019 .
  3. Basel Buildings: St. Jacob's Monument. Retrieved October 12, 2019 .
  4. ^ Online collection catalog of the Basel Historical Museum
  5. ^ Website of the Basel Historical Museum, Haus zum Kirschgarten
  6. ^ Online collection catalog of the Kunstmuseum Basel
  7. ^ Online collection catalog of the Kunstmuseum Basel
  8. Martin Sculpture. In: old Basel. Retrieved May 28, 2019 .
  9. ^ Online collection catalog of the Kunstmuseum Basel
  10. Basel Chronicle, March 13, 1892

Web links

Commons : Ferdinand Schlöth  - Collection of images, videos and audio files