Karl Schropp

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Karl Schropp and his model of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna
Schropp's model of Cologne Cathedral (photo from 1931)

Karl Johann Christian Ferdinand Schropp (born July 7, 1794 in Erfurt ; died May 8, 1875 in Bamberg ) was a model maker of architectural models and a royal court modeler.


Karl Schropp's father Ulrich Schropp came from Erfurt and worked there as a bookbinder for the University of Erfurt . His mother was a granddaughter of the Bamberg sculptor Leonhard Gollwitzer . Schropp attended the cathedral school in Erfurt until 1808 and trained as a bookbinder with his father. In 1814 he joined the Prussian army under Field Marshal Blücher in the so-called Wars of Liberation and in 1815 became a war volunteer again. The Prussian administration of Erfurt therefore took him over in 1816 as a government bookbinder and file binder in the Erfurt registry of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior. In 1838 he left the civil service and devoted himself entirely to the art of modeling.

Schropp preferred to work with papier mâché , from which he produced a malleable, shrink-free and paintable mass according to his own recipe.

He was able to sell the decorative objects he had created to members of the Prussian and Saxon courts and he also found other buyers. Works by Schropp have also come down to us in the Goethe estate in Weimar . In 1840 Schropp received an order from the Cologne factory owner Peter Leven (1796–1850) for a model of Cologne Cathedral based on Sulpiz Boisserée's completion plans . The model was about 2.5 meters high and became an attraction of the cathedral building association during their national campaign for the completion of the cathedral.

In 1846 Schropp moved to his mother's hometown in Bamberg on the Michelsberg . There he worked with the Schmidt Painting Institute and also devoted himself to porcelain painting . In 1852 the Franconian community of Tiefenhöchstadt ordered a neo-Gothic altar from him .

Schropp took part in the Berlin Industrial Exhibition in 1844 , the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 and the World Exhibition in Paris in 1855 . In 1860 he was awarded the title of Prussian court modeller . In 1869 he completed a four-meter-high model of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna , in which, as with other of his monumental models , the interior of the church is also designed and visible.

When the public's interest in Neo-Gothic subsided, Schropp's models also disappeared from the showrooms and collections. The model of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna was brought to Vienna in 1904 as a present for the 60th birthday of the mayor at the time, Karl Lueger , but could not be exhibited permanently due to lack of space. After 1945 it was kept in the attic of St. Stephen's Cathedral, a restoration is planned from 2019 and then an installation in the new building of the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna ( Wien Museum ).

In 2016, the Bamberg Historical Museum dedicated an exhibition to Schropp's work entitled For Throne, Altar, Salon. The modeller Carl Schropp (1794–1875) in Erfurt and Bamberg .


  • Horst Gehringer; Regina Hanemann; Robert Zink (Ed.): For, Throne, Altar, Salon. The modeller Carl Schropp (1794–1875) in Erfurt and Bamberg . Exhibition catalog. City of Bamberg, Bamberg 2016, ISBN 978-3-929341-48-5 .
  • Lothar Braun: The models of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna by Karl Schropp . In: Report / Historischer Verein Bamberg for the maintenance of the history of the former prince-bishopric. Bamberg. Issue 139, 2003, pp. 425-430

Web links

Commons : Karl Schropp  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e For throne, altar, salon. The modeller Carl Schropp (1794–1875) in Erfurt and Bamberg ( Memento of the original from May 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked . Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Exhibition flyer, Historisches Museum Bamberg , 2016 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / museum.bamberg.de
  2. ^ Franz Zehetner: The historical model of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. An impressive contemporary document. In: The Cathedral. Bulletin of the Vienna Cathedral Association. ZDB ID 1054178-0 . Episode 1/2019. Pp. 2-7.
  3. Information on the exhibition at stadtarchive-metropolregion-nuernberg.de , April 7, 2016, accessed on June 18, 2016.