Gustav Friedrich HETSCH

Stuttgart 1788 - Copenhagen 1864


The son of the German classical painter Philipp Friedrich von Hetsch (1758-1838), Gustav Friedrich Hetsch was active as an architect, designer and draughtsman. Born in Stuttgart, he studied in Tübingen and in Paris, where he was a pupil of Charles Percier and worked on the church of Sainte-Geneviève, now the Panthéon. In 1812 he returned to Stuttgart but soon after travelled to Italy, where he met the Danish architect Peder Malling, who encouraged him to move to Copenhagen in 1815. Hetsch was to spend the remainder of his long career in Denmark. He contributed to the interior decoration of the rebuilt Christiansborg Palace, and in later years designed the Great Synagogue of Copenhagen, completed in 1833, and the church (later Cathedral) of Saint Ansgar, built between 1840 and 1842. Much of Hetsch's work was in the field of decorative art, however, and between 1828 and 1857 he served as artistic director of the Royal Porcelain Factory. He also designed metalwork and furniture, and taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he eventually rose to the position of Professor of Architecture.