The exceptional oeuvre of the Prussian architect and artist Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) contains a large number of drawings for tombs and mausoleums. In his early designs, Schinkel had already emphasized a visual fusion between a tomb and its surrounding landscape, characterized by an “organic severity,” which combined massive architectural form with the irregularities and changeability of living nature.
His grave monuments, realized as of 1810, were then taged to include viewing axes into the distant landscapes and were also influenced by the reshaping of nature by landscaped designs. On one side of the spectrum, Schinkel designed tombs with ancient or historical motifs that were converted into cast iron – a highly modern, state-of-the-art material at the time, leading to a practice that became widespread as a result. On the other side, he also conceived versatile funerary architecture made of stone, commissioned, for instance, by the Prussian crown prince, who would later become Frederick William IV.