Reinhold Begas

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Begas, Reinhold
Reinhold Begas

Reinhold Begas (* 15. July 1831 in Schöneberg ; † 3. August 1911 ibid) was the most important sculptor of the Neo-Baroque in Germany. His most important works include the Schiller Monument , the Neptune Fountain , the Kaiser Wilhelm National Monument and the Bismarck National Monument in Berlin.


The sculptor Reinhold Begas with his wife Margarethe , painting by Anton Romako
Honorary grave of Reinhold Begas in Berlin-Schöneberg

Reinhold Begas was the son of the painter Carl Joseph Begas and received his first training from the sculptor Ludwig Wilhelm Wichmann in Berlin . 1846-1851 he was a student of the sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch at the Berlin Academy, which was under the direction of Johann Gottfried Schadow from 1815 to 1850 . In 1848 he became Rauch's employee. In 1852 he achieved his first success with the plaster cast by the Hagar and Ismael group at the Berlin Academy Exhibition. Thanks to a scholarship , he was able to stay in Rome from 1856 to 1858 . There he met Arnold Böcklin and Anselm Feuerbach . Here in 1857 the marble group Amor and Psyche was created , which is influenced by a sculpture by the Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth, who worked in Rome and which follows the classicist Thorvaldsen school.

In 1861 he was offered a position at the Grand Ducal Saxon Art School Weimar , which had been founded a year earlier , where Böcklin had already taught and where he met Franz Lenbach for the first time. He stayed there until 1863 and then returned to Berlin. From 1863 to 1864 he was again in Rome, from 1865 to 1869 again in Berlin. In 1868 he created the long-lost, rediscovered in Italy in 2009 sculpture made of Carrara marble Pan as a teacher of flute playing that now in Begas House in Heinsberg is, a regional museum for the coming thence artistic family Begas. In 1869 and 1870 he worked in Rome and Paris . After that he worked mostly in Berlin, where he was accepted into the Prussian order " Pour le Mérite for Science and the Arts" in 1883 . His time in Berlin was only briefly interrupted by a stay in Rome in 1892.

His monumental works were characteristic of Prussian Berlin during the imperial era. Kaiser Wilhelm II in particular valued the pathos of Begas' work and, after 1888, procured him a large number of representative commissions. The best-known examples of this are the National Monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I , unveiled in 1897, the artistic overhead line on “ Siegesallee ” (1895–1901, destroyed), for which he himself contributed two groups, and the Bismarck National Monument completed in 1901 in front of the Reichstag building (Transferred to the Großer Stern in 1938 ). Reinhold Begas also created the Neptune Fountain at the Berlin City Palace from 1886 to 1891 (cleared in 1950, placed in front of the Berlin City Hall in 1969 ). He received numerous commissions for portrait busts, monuments and small sculptures. From 1871 until his death in 1911 he was a member of the Berlin Artists' Association and a member of the Berlin Academy of the Arts , of which he headed the master's studio from 1876 to 1903.

Begas was married to Johanna Margarethe Augusta Philipp, called "Grete" or "Gré", and had two sons, u. a. the sculptor Werner and Freddy and a daughter Molly. He lived in a villa he built in the Italian style with a studio at Stülerstrasse 2-4 in Berlin-Tiergarten . In 1898 he built a villa in Baden-Baden for his wife, who was suffering from tuberculosis . The house is still there. Begas died just three weeks after his 80th birthday in Berlin in early August 1911. He was buried in the Old Twelve Apostles Cemetery in Schöneberg (grave site 222-7-13 / 14). By resolution of the Berlin Senate , the last resting place of Reinhold Begas has been dedicated as a Berlin grave of honor since 1952 . The dedication was extended in 2016 by the usual period of twenty years. Begasstrasse was named after him in the Malerviertel in Berlin-Friedenau as early as 1892.

“Reinhold Begas was an eminently brilliant mind. He knew his Goethe, Shakespeare, Ariost and Dante like no other. Ingenious, as I have hardly met an artist, his diligence was quite extraordinary; he was working in the predicament of an almost demonic creative instinct and under the eternal spur of his genius. Drafts were lined up with drafts, clouds of plans always floated through his pensive mind. And at the same time to enjoy this enormous vitality, this hunger for life, this unwavering courage to enjoy, truly a person of the Renaissance, in a certain sense unscrupulous, full of risks for his princely desires. And yet a child's heart, despite everything. "

- Carl Ludwig Schleich : Sunny past


Schiller Monument (1871) on the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin
Alexander von Humboldt Monument (1883), Unter den Linden, Berlin
Neptune Fountain (1891) on Schloßplatz, Berlin
Sarcophagus of Frederick III. (1892), Kaiser Friedrich Mausoleum, Potsdam
Kaiser Wilhelm National Monument (1897) on the Schloßfreiheit (destroyed), Berlin
Bismarck National Monument (1901) today on the Großer Stern, Berlin


The Prussian Monument Institute in Neuss can provide evidence of the following monuments that were created by the sculptor Reinhold Begas:

  • Bensheim an der Bergstrasse : bust monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I, on the station forecourt
  • Berlin:
  • Braunfels / Lahn : Emperor Friedrich III.-bust monument in the castle park
  • Donaueschingen : Kaiser Wilhelm I bust on the Kaiser fountain. Erected on the market square in 1893; Bust melted down in 1940
  • Düren : Kaiser Wilhelm II - Herme in the city garden; destroyed in war
  • Flomborn / Rheinhessen : War memorial 1870/1871 with a bust of Kaiser Wilhelm I.
  • Grätz / Province of Posen (annexed by Poland in 1919): Kaiser Wilhelm I bust monument on Anna Square; lost
  • Hagen- Dahl: bust monument of Emperor Friedrich III, on the Niederwald above Baedeckerstraße; lost
  • Lindenfels in the Odenwald / Hessen : Kaiser Wilhelm I bust monument, in the grounds of the outer courtyard; The bust has not been preserved, there is an urn on the base
  • Meerane / Saxony: bust of Kaiser Wilhelm I on the gable of the rifle house; lost
  • Offenbach am Main : Kaiser Friedrich III.-bust monument, in front of the administration building of the Kaiser-Friedrich-Quelle
  • Potsdam - Sanssouci :
    • Second version of the sarcophagus monument with Emperor Friedrich III reclining figure in the mausoleum at the Friedenskirche, created 1904-05 (see first version in the Berlin Cathedral)
    • Sarcophagus memorial with reclining figure of Empress Victoria in the mausoleum at the Friedenskirche
  • Sangerhausen : Empress Auguste Victoria -Herme, in the rosarium
  • Templin / Uckermark : Kaiser Wilhelm I bust monument, in the Bürgergarten; lost
  • Trachenberg / Silesia : bust monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I, on the market square; eliminated
  • Trachenberg / Silesia: bust monument of Emperor Friedrich III., On the market square; eliminated
  • Wesel : Kaiser Wilhelm I statue, on Kaiserplatz, partially destroyed and in a magazine


Centaur and Nymph (around 1888)


  • Ludwig Pietsch: Reinhold Begas , in: The gazebo. Illustrated family sheet . Year 1891, pp. 796–799. With portrait as wood engraving, p. 789.
  • Alfred Gotthold Meyer : Reinhold Begas. Increased edition, Velhagen & Klasing, Bielefeld / Leipzig 1901. (= artist monographs , volume XX.) ( ZDB -ID 1066095-1 ) ( digitized version of the 1897 edition )
  • Eberhard Ruhmer:  Begas, Reinhold. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6 , pp. 746 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Ursel Berger : From Begas to Barlach. Sculpture in Wilhelmine Berlin . Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin 1984
  • Elke Messer (Ed.): Neptune's Empire on the Spree. Berlin fountain from Begas to Bonk. Transit-Buchverlag, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-88747-035-4 . (Catalog for the exhibition of the Neukölln Art Office in the Galerie im Körnerpark in Berlin from August 12 to September 21, 1986)
  • Peter Bloch , Sibylle Einholz , Jutta von Simson (eds.): Ethos and Pathos. The Berlin School of Sculpture 1786–1914. (Catalog for the exhibition of the sculpture gallery of the Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz from May 19 to July 29, 1990 in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin) Gebr. Mann, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-7861-1597-4 , pp. 26–39.
  • Knut Brehm, Bernd Ernsting, Wolfgang Gottschalk, Jörg Kuhn: City Museum Berlin Foundation. Catalog of sculptures 1780–1920. Letter Foundation, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-930633-15-9 . (= Letter Fonts , Volume 14.)
  • Esther Sophia Sünderhauf (Ed.): Begas. Monuments for the Empire. An exhibition on the 100th anniversary of the death of Reinhold Begas (1831–1911). (on behalf of the German Historical Museum Foundation , with the collaboration of Wolfgang Cortjaens, with a catalog raisonné by Jutta von Simson) Sandstein, Dresden 2010, ISBN 978-3-942422-15-4 . (Catalog for the exhibition in the German Historical Museum in Berlin from November 25, 2010 to March 6, 2011)
  • Rita Müllejans-Dickmann , Wolfgang Cortjaens (Ed.): The Begas Collection. (= Begas Haus Heinsberg , Volume 2.) Cologne 2013.
  • Fumigated . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 2, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1905, pp.  557–558 . ›‹

Web links

Commons : Reinhold Begas  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Reinhold Begas in the picture index of art and architecture
  • Website of the Begas House, Museum for Art and Regional History Heinsberg

Individual evidence

  1. Brockhaus Encyclopedia . 21st edition. tape 3 . FA Brockhaus, Leipzig / Mannheim 2006, p. 487 .
  2. Stefan Hess : Between Winckelmann and Winkelried. The Basel sculptor Ferdinand Schlöth (1818–1891), Berlin 2010, p. 110.
  3. ^ Philipp Demandt: Milan, Berlin, Heinsberg . In: Ars pro toto , No. 1/2012, pp. 20 ff., With an illustration of the work of art
  4. The Order Pour le Merite for Science and the Arts, The members of the Order . Volume II (1882-1952). Gebr. Mann-Verlag, Berlin 1978, p. 16.
  5. ^ Marriage certificate of the son Reinhold Gottfried August with the Antonie Essa Eberhardine Thies from November 26th 1906 in Berlin
  6. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , pp. 748–749.
  7. Honorary graves of the State of Berlin (as of November 2018) . (PDF, 413 kB) Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, p. 5; accessed on March 13, 2019. Recognition and further preservation of graves as honorary graves of the State of Berlin . (PDF, 205 kB). Berlin House of Representatives, printed matter 17/3105 of July 13, 2016, p. 1 and Annex 2, p. 1; accessed on March 13, 2019.
  8. Begasstrasse. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  9. ^ Carl Ludwig Schleich : Sunny past . Berlin 1921, pp. 305-321
  10. Uta Lehnert: The Kaiser and the Siegesallee. Réclame Royale. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-496-01189-0 , pp. 123, 124