Elisabet Ney  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Arthur Schopenhauer's bust by Ney

Franzisca Bernadina Wilhelmina Elisabeth Ney (January 26, 1833–June 29, 1907) was a celebrated German-born sculptor who spent the first half of her life and career in Europe, producing sculpted works of famous leaders such as Otto von Bismarck, Giuseppe Garibaldi and King George V of Hanover. At age 39, she emigrated to Texas with her husband Edmund D. Montgomery and became a pioneer in the development of art in the state of Texas, USA. Some of her most famous works during her Texas period included sculptures of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. Her works can be found in the Texas State Capitol. U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Ney opened a studio in Berlin in 1857. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer agreed to sit for a sculpted portrait at the persuasion of Edmund Montgomery. The portrait was hailed as an artistic success and led to other commissions, most notably: Jacob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm, Italian military leader Giuseppe Garibaldi, composer Richard Wagner as well as his future wife and daughter of Franz Liszt, Cosima von Bülow, Prussian-German political figure Otto von Bismarck and King George V of Hanover who in turn commissioned Ney for a portrait of composer Josef Joachim. Shortly after completing the Bismarck bust, Ney was commissioned in 1868 by Prussian agents to sculpt a full-length portrait of Ludwig II of Bavaria in Munich. Her works of this period were in a traditional classical German style with an emphasis on realism and accurate scale.

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