Robert Cauer the Elder

Robert Cauer the Elder (13 February 1831, Dresden - 2 April 1893, Kassel) was a German sculptor; known for his funerary art.

Robert Cauer the Elder; portrait by Gustav Kruell (1867)

Life and workEdit

A tondo on the gravestone of
Ludwig Schopen

His father, Emil Cauer the Elder and brother, Karl were both sculptors. Many of his descendants and relatives also became sculptors, including his sons, Stanislaus and Friedrich [de], and Karl's sons, Emil and Hugo (1864-1918).

He received his first lessons at his father's studio in Bad Kreuznach. From 1851 to 1856, he studied painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Wilhelm von Schadow and Karl Ferdinand Sohn. From 1853 to 1854, he also studied at the academy's building school with Rudolf Wiegmann. From 1851 to 1857, he was a member of Malkasten [de], a progressive artists' association. After completing his studies, he worked with his father and returned to Sculpting, but never gave up painting entirely. Between 1856 and 1861, he made numerous study trips throughout Germany, England and Italy. In 1882, he settled in Rome, where he would live for the rest of his life.

Together with his brother, Karl, he set up a studio there, but would continue to be involved with the one in Bad Kreuznach. From 1887, he was officially commissioned by the Prussian government to supervise their scholarship students at the Villa Strohl-Fern. The following year, he was named a Professor. After 1889, he divided his time between Rome and Kassel.

His sculptures were inspired by topics from literature and folklore, and he often emulated his father's works. He also created numerous portrait plaques that were based on Classical models.[1]

His most familiar works may be his grave monuments, including several at the Alter Friedhof, Bonn; notably those of Friedrich Wilhelm August Argelander and Nikolaus Simrock.

Prometheus, in the park at the ruins of
Dhaun Castle


  1. ^ Zur Chronik der Akademie. Vom August 1884 bis Ende März 1886. In: Illustrirter Katalog: Ausstellung der Königlichen Akademie der Künste zu Berlin im Landes-Ausstellungsgebäude: Jubiläums-Ausstellung der Kgl. Akademie der Künste im Landes-Ausstellungsgebäude zu Berlin: von Mai bis October 1886, illustrierter Katalog, Berlin, 1886.

Further readingEdit

  • Hyacinth Holland (1903), "Cauer, Robert der Ältere", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 47, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 467–468
  • Hans Wolfgang Singer (Ed.): Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon. Leben und Werke der berühmtesten bildenden Künstler, Vol.1. Literarische Anstalt Rütten & Loening, Frankfurt / Main 1921.
  • Hans Paffrath (Ed.): Lexikon der Düsseldorfer Malerschule 1819–1918. Vol.1: Abbema–Gurlitt. Herausgegeben vom Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf im Ehrenhof und von der Galerie Paffrath. Bruckmann, München 1997, ISBN 3-7654-3009-9, S. 224.
  • (in German) Robert Cauer the Elder. In: Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon. Die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker (AKL). Band 17, Saur, München u. a. 1997, ISBN 3-598-22757-4, S. 334

External linksEdit