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Arrival and Reception of the Huguenots in Germany

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The Great Elector welcomes the refugees for the sake of religion to his territories


(2 of 12) The Great Elector welcomes the refugees for the sake of religion to his territories
Etching by Daniel Chodowiecki (1726 1801) - dimensions: 11.6 x 18.6 cm.

From: Jean Pierre Erman and Pierre Chrétien Frédéric Reclam: Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire des Réfugiés francois dans les Etats du Roi. Vol. 1. Berlin, Jean Jasperd 1782, Title vignette. Signed D. Chodowiecki Sc(ulpsit). Chodowiecki thus explains that he did not create the picture, he only etched it (after Thurneysen).

The plate depicts the Great Elector on the right of the picture, standing on a step in f ront of a palace. His bearing is that of a ruler, in long wig, uniform of the period and cloak, with entourage. The Elector is surrounded by four female figures representing virtues.

Behind him stands Faith holding a goblet. In front of him Hope is kneeling. At the bottom right beside him Love is kneeling with a baby at her breast and two other children. Standing on the left, Providence is pointing with raised arm to the fugitives.

Above him an angel is hovering with a laurel wreath. Under a curtain, a winged saturn is flying to the left pushing the clouds away with a scythe to reveal half-length portraits of the first three Prussian kings, Frederick I, Frederick William and Frederick II.

At the bottom left, the long procession of refugees is paying homage to the king. Chodowiecki adopts Thurneysen's picture, but presents the Great Elector in contemporary clothes and leaves out the inscriptions along the bottom.

Where Thurneysen portrays a town set in a landscape, Chodowiecki just lengthens the procession of refugees. He replaces the antique temple with a classical building. The Great Elector no longer appears as a Roman Emperor. He is standing without a scepter, welcoming the refugees.

Chodowiecki's presentation is more effective than Thurneysen's which is too cluttered with background details.

Literature: Literature: Rosen-Prest, Viviane: Daniel Chodowiecki as Illustrator der Mémoires des Réfugiés von Erman und Reclam. In: Ursula Fuhrich-Grubert und Jochen Desel (Hg.). Daniel Chodowiecki(1726-1801). Ein hugenottischer Künstler und Menschenfreund in Berlin, Bad Karlshafen 2001, pp. 79-99. Further literature can be found

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