BEGAS, Reinhold, German sculptor (son of Karl Begas and brother of Oskar Begas, qq.v.) : b. Berlin, 16 July 1831;*d. 3 Aug. 1911. It is generally conceded that he was the leading German sculptor of his own period. Beginning his studies in the Berlin Academy, he later studied under Wichinann and Rauch. Earn ing a scholarship from the Berlin Academy through a group he had executed, he went to Rome to fimsh his training. In 1860, after his return, he was appointed.professor of the art school at Weimar, but two years later returned to Rome. As is shown in his later work, while in Rome Begas was strongly influenced by the realism of the Baroque School. His 'Pan Con soling a Deserted Nymph) (1857) was one of the first of his works which showed his ten dency toward the portrayal of a live vigor in the cold stone, and it made an immediate im pression on his countrymen, who were growing tired of the softer contours of the classical school. Only two years after this he was com missioned to execute a group surmounting the Berlin Bourse, which was soon followed by the monument to Frederick William III at Cologne; the Schiller monument in Berlin (1871) ; and the Strousberg sepulchral monument (1874) which won the Grand Prize at the Pans EX position in 1900. This was the early period of
his career, during which he also modelled the busts of many of the German royalties and high officials, including a whole series of the Hohen zollern family. By this time he had been placed in charge of the portrait sculptures of the Berlin arsenal and its Hall of Fame. He was at this time the official sculptor of the Prussian court. Among his other notable works performed during this period are the bronze group °Germania,)) on the Reichstag building; the marble sarcophagus of Frederick II erected in the mausoleum at Potsdam and the colossal °Fountain of Neptune° (1886), surrounded by allegorical figures of the rivers and sea monsters. By many this latter is considered his masterpiece.
In 1892 Emperor William II, without the formality of an official competition, commis sioned Begas to execute the national monument to William I, and another to Bismarck (1901) in front of the Reichstag building. These were followed by a marble statue of the Emperor himself in the palace at Potsdam (1904). But in general the works which he performed to ward the end of the first and in the beginning of his second periods are considered his best.