- Friedrich August I, Der Starke
(1670-1733) Elector of Sachsen, King of Poland.
August is a legendary character, not so much as a politician. His incursion into Poland (the statue faces in the direction of Poland) led to wars and enmities that lasted for decades. His personal life was far more interesting. He is alleged to have fathered 356 little Augusts and he was uncommonly strong, apparently breaking horseshoes and metal goblets with his bare hands. More importantly, he and his son were great supporters of the arts and responsible for the famous buildings of Dresden and much of the artwork within. He was fond of porcelain, which led to the first European commercial production of porcelain art.
- Vinanche, Jean Joseph
The statue is placed at the foot of the Augustbridge over the Elbe Dresden, known as ‘The Golden Horseman’.
A blacksmith, Louis Wiedermann, moulded the statue in 1733 layering heated copper over an iron frame and then covered in gold plate. It was too heavy to be placed on the bridge, so a base was made in 1735 and the statue unveiled one year later. The statue was dismantled in 1944 and hidden in cave escaping war damage and replaced in 1956.