Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe

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Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe (* 26. September 1746 in Leipzig , not Großzschocher ; † 13. July 1816 in Bad Flinsberg , Lower Silesia) was a German architect, landscape designer and engraver of the early classicism in Leipzig, whose buildings mostly the so-called Zopfstil attributable .


Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe was born as the son of the Leipzig coffee house tenant and former soldier Johann Heinrich Dauthe. After private lessons with Adam Friedrich Oeser and enrollment at the University of Leipzig , he studied architecture at the Dresden Art Academy with Friedrich August Krubsacius , one of the most enduring German critics of the Rococo . Until Oeser appointed Dauthe, whom he held in high esteem, as a teacher of architecture at the Leipzig Art Academy in 1776 , he had been an official, mill and hydraulic engineering jury and electoral land surveyor from 1773 . From 1780 until his death he was the first building director in the service of the city of Leipzig. His membership in the Leipzig Freemason Lodge Minerva to the three palms connected him with numerous great minds and artists since 1778. From 1782 he was married to Johanna Magdalena Olbrecht, daughter of the Leipzig chief town clerk. He died of a stroke at the age of 70 during a stay at a spa with his daughter who lived in Breslau.


Palm capital in the Leipzig Nikolaikirche
The Gothic Gate as a park entrance
Georgenhaus with the Dauthesches column portico

Dauthe first attracted attention around 1770 due to some copper engravings in aquatint style , mostly with depictions of ancient genres. Through experiments he seems to have discovered the secret of the aquatint technique invented by Jean Baptiste Leprince . Dauthe himself owned an extensive collection of engravings, some of which Goethe acquired from the estate.

The garden (from 1770) and the palace (1777/78) mark the beginning of his architectural career for the Leipzig banker Eberhard Heinrich Löhr , which after the park and palace in Wörlitz are among the earliest classicist creations in Central Germany, although they still have stylistic elements of the Baroque and Rococo. While Löhr's house appeared as a cubic structure from the street, on the garden side it was reminiscent of a baroque three-wing complex. The building was rebuilt several times beyond recognition, from which today's Hotel Fürstenhof emerged .

The first task as municipal building director was in 1780/81 in the installation of a concert hall in the armory wing of the Gewandhaus (demolished). The hall was considered an acoustic miracle and, in turn, contributed to the international reputation of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra .

From 1785 Dauthe is responsible for the English park with swan pond and Schneckenberg as well as the large city forecourt, today Augustusplatz , instead of the old city moat. The wooden neo-Gothic entrance gate to the complex is also attributed to Dauthe. For the St. Georg breeding and orphanage adjoining the park , he created a new façade with a column portico (broken off).

Dauthe's main work is the classicist renovation of the interior of the late Gothic St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig , which took place over a long period of construction from 1784 to 1797 , which is also the only one of his works that has remained unchanged to this day and is considered one of the most original creations of German classicism. Dauthe created an impressive interior in which everything Gothic was artfully concealed. The unusual palm fronds growing freely out of the column capitals are noteworthy. Dauthe has implemented the recommendations of the French architectural theorist Marc-Antoine Laugier for the redesign of Gothic churches almost literally and congenially.

For the university observatory, Dauthe created a small circular building on the tower of the Pleißenburg in 1790 (demolished).

During construction of the first non-denominational public school in Germany took advantage Dauthe (1796-1804) the old Moritzbastei of Hieronymus Lotter as basis, the conditional an unusual pentagonal plan form. The building was only completed posthumously in 1834 (destroyed in World War II) due to considerable founding difficulties and the onset of the wars of liberation.

Dauthe's festival architecture was also original, for example for the arrival of the Saxon King Friedrich August I in Leipzig in 1808.

In addition to other urban construction projects Dauthe designs and designs for several private buildings, mansions and other buildings in Leipzig and Saxonia are attributed (village church Paunsdorf , House of Leipzig Mayor Carl Wilhelm Müller , castle Oberschona , Castle Dölkau u. A.). Since Johann Carl Friedrich Dauthe's work was limited to the region and most of his buildings have been destroyed, he was wrongly almost completely forgotten. His work shows great talent and imaginative originality. The Leipzig art historian Prof. Albrecht Kurzwelly found in 1913 that Dauthe was “one of the most talented and peculiar representatives of classicism that Germany has produced”.


A street in Leipzig's Thonberg district bears his name.


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