August Kiss

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August Kiss
August Kiss.jpg
August Kiss, 1860s
Born 11 October 1802(1802-10-11)
Paprotzan, Silesia
Died 24 March 1865(1865-03-24)
Berlin, Brandenburg
Nationality German
Field sculpture

August Karl Eduard Kiss (October 11, 1802 – March 24, 1865, Berlin) was a famous German sculptor.

Early years

Kiss was born in Paprotzan in Prussian Silesia, in which town he served an apprenticeship in the Paprotzan ironworks, after which he went to the Royal Smelting Works in Gleiwitz, where he learnt how to sculpt and engrave plaques and statuettes by means of iron-casting. After further training in the Brieg-Liegnitz iron foundry, he went to Berlin in 1822, studying at the Prussian Akademie der Künste (Academy for Art) and working at the Royal Iron Foundry under Leonhard Posch.

Career as a sculptor

From 1825 to 1840 Kiss worked with the famous sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch; his first undertaking in Rauch's studio was to produce iron casts of scaled-down, mass-produced replicas after Rauch's famous statues of generals.[1] In addition Kiss worked with Rauch on the bronze statue of Albrecht Thaer (d.1828) which stood in the Schinkel-Platz, on the Spree, in Berlin.[2] Kiss also assisted Friedrich Tieck with the work for his monumental Horse Tamers for the roof of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's Altes Museum in Berlin. On a commission from Schinkel, Kiss completed a series of sculptural works, including the zinc figures for the Neue Wache on the Unter den Linden (1842-46; in situ today).[3]

In 1830 Kiss became a tutor in the bronze workshop of the Gewerbeinstitut. In 1837 he was made a member of the Berlin Akademie; and in 1841 he became a professor there. Kiss was regarded as the best horse sculptor in Berlin. He worked almost exclusively in iron and bronze.[4]

His work was mostly executed in the neo-Classical style, and consisted largely of portraits, full-size sculptured statues, and mythological and allegorical subjects. He produced several statues of King Frederick Wilhelm III: one (1845) being on the Wilhelm-Platz at Potsdam, another, equestrian (1851), in Königsberg, stood in the vicinity of the Parade-Platz, and another (1862), on the Ringstrasse in Breslau, in which city, in 1842, his bronze equestrian statue of Frederick The Great was erected on the west side of the Ring.[5]


In 1889 the USA's Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) obtained a plaster of one of Kiss' best known works (in bronze), The Amazon, which depicts Amazon on horseback, defending herself against a tiger, which stands on the right of the steps to the Old Museum (Schinkel) in Berlin.[6] In 1929 the plaster-work was cast in bronze and now stands in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.