Gaul, August

BORN 22 Oct 1869, Hanau, Hessen: Grossauheim - DIED 18 Oct 1921, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Landeseigener Friedhof Dahlem, Königin-Luise-Straße 57 (Feld 7 Nr.190 (Abt. 16 - 32/33))

August Gaul was famous for his sculptures of animals. He was the son of Philip Gaul, a stonemason. August learned to work stone at his father's workshop. He went to Berlin in 1888 where he studied art. From 1899 until 1893 he worked at the studio of the sculptor Alexander Calandrelli.

After he won a season ticket for the Berlin Zoo he specialized in sculptures of animals. He became friendly with the Zoo's director, Ludwig Heckl and with Paul Matschie, a curator at the Berlin Museum of Natural History. In 1894 he worked as an assistent to Reinhold Begas. From 1894 until 1897 he worked on a large orang-utan sculture that won him the Prize of Rome. He travelled to Venice, Bologna, Florence and Rome, where he met the sculptor Louis Tuaillon, also a former student of Begas.

After he returned to Berlin late in 1898 he became a founding member of the Berliner Secession. In 1900 he married Clara Haertel, a daughter of machine builder Richard Haertel. In Berlin hs work was sold by Paul Cassirer and in 1904 he became a member of the Prussian Academy of Art. In 1908 he was awarded the title of professor. In 1906/1907 Alfred Lightwark bought ten of his sculpptures for the Hamburger Kunsthalle. By now he was able to buy a house at Berlin-Grunewald.

He received many commissions, private as well as public, and had to work very hard to meet all his obligations. In 1912 he seperated from his wife, but they never divorced. He went to live with Ella Martin, who was a friend of Tilla Durieux.

In 1915 he went to the eastern front and many of his war drawings were published by Cassirer. He became friendly with Gerhart Hauptmann and portrayed him. In 1919 Cassirer organised a large exhibition for his fiftieth birhday at his gallery.

Gaul had been suffering from cancer of the larynx for a long time. He was treated for it at Meran, but to no avail. He died in the presence of Cassirer and his grave was decorated with three lizards. His assistent Max Esser completed several of his unfinished works.

Related persons
• cooperated with Cassirer, Paul
• was admired by Durieux, Tilla
• was pupil of Meyerheim, Paul


The grave of August Gaul at the Landeseigener Friedhof Dahlem, Berlin.
Picture by androom (24 Aug 2006)


• Steckner, Cornelius, Museum Friedhof, Bedeutende Grabmäler in Berlin, Stapp Verlag, Berlin, 1984
August Gaul – Wikipedia

Gauss, Carl Friedrich

Published: 20 Oct 2006
Last update: 09 Dec 2023