Daniel Chodowiecki, copy after - Frederick the Great on Horseback
Daniel Chodowiecki, copy after
Frederick the Great on Horseback
Oil on canvas (relined). 60 x 49.8 cm.
This composition is based on what is probably Daniel Chodowiecki's most famous depiction of Frederick the Great: A gouache from 1772 now kept in Haus Doorn entitled “Friedrich der Große zur Besichtigung des 2. Bataillons Leibgarde reitend” (Frederick the Great Inspecting the 2nd Battalion of the King's Body Guard on Horseback). The central motif of the King on horseback was published as an etching in 1776 and soon became highly popular, inspiring numerous reproductions in oils.
Chodowiecki's small-format depictions of the King were not commissions, as R. Michaelis states in his book “Friedrich der Große im Spiegel der Werke des Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki“. “Although not officially commissioned, the works were tolerated with benevolence. They depict the principal servant of the state as modest, courageous, and good-humoured.” To this day, Chodowiecki's etchings have shaped the popular image of “Old Fritz”.
Private collection, England.