The Princesses Are Back!
A New Exhibition of Schadow’s Princess Group in the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche

Permanent exhibition
Friedrichswerdersche Kirche

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once adoringly described sisters the Luise and Friederike of Mecklenburg-Strelitz as “heavenly visions, whose impression upon me will never be effaced”. Sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow erected a monument to their elegance and grace, creating an icon of European classicism with his double sculpted portrait of the “Crown Princess Luise of Prussia and her Sister Princess Friederike of Mecklenburg-Strelitz”.

The statue of these two figures, which has come to be known under the abbreviated title Princess Group, is one of the highlights of the Alte Nationalgalerie’s collection (along with Caspar David Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea). The marble version, which was completed in 1797, currently welcomes visitors as they enter the main museum building on the Museumsinsel, while the plaster replica of the statue has drawn crowds to the permanent sculpture exhibition in the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche for decades.

The original plaster cast has a particular significance within both the broader context of Schadow’s oeuvre and that of 19th-century sculpture: it is here that not only the artist’s creative signature is at its most palpable, but also the thrilling genesis of the double-figure statue. The fragile plaster cast has been relocated on several occasions throughout the centuries, causing it to sustain severe damage in the process. Thanks to the generous support of the Rudolf-August Oetker-Stiftung, the Hermann Reemtsma Stiftung, and the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the original plaster cast was able to be successfully restored in an unprecedented research and restoration project.

After the original plaster cast and the marble version of the statue were shown side-by-side for the first time in the exhibition Embracing Forms: Johann Gottfried Schadow, the Princess Group will now be newly exhibited as part of the permanent sculpture exhibition in the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche, in conjunction with a special presentation focussing on its restoration. Admission is free.

A special presentation by the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Johann Gottfried Schadow, double statue of princesses Luise and Friederike of Prussia, so-called princess group, 1795, plaster, condition after restoration
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Andres Kilger
Exhibition view Ideal and Form, with double statue of Princesses Luise and Friederike of Prussia, so-called Princess Group by Johann Gottfried Schadow, 1795, Friedrichswerder Church, 2023
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / David von Becker

Permanent exhibition

Werderscher Markt
10117 Berlin

partially wheelchair accessible
Limited access for persons with mobility impairment

U-Bahn: Hausvogteiplatz, Französische Straße, Museumsinsel (U5)
Tram: Am Kupfergraben
Bus: Jerusalemer Straße, Staatsoper, Werderscher Markt

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Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
Tue closed
Wed 10:00 - 17:00
Thu 10:00 - 17:00
Fri 10:00 - 17:00
Sat 10:00 - 18:00

Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours

Admission free

Annual Ticket from 25,00 EUR
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Tel 030 - 266 42 42 42 (Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm)
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Related Links

Analysis and Restoration: Princess Group by Johann Gottfried Schadow

Museum and the City: “Fertig restauriert: Das Gipsoriginal der Prinzessinnengruppe” on the blog of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (German only)