Anselm Feuerbach

Anselm Feuerbach (12 September 1829 – 4 January 1880) was a German painter. He was the leading classicist painter of the German 19th-century school.

Anselm Feuerbach
Anselm Feuerbach - Self-Portrait - Google Art Project
Self-portrait (1873)
Anselm Feuerbach

12 September 1829
Died4 January 1880 (aged 50)
Known forPainting


Early life

Thomas Couture-Anselm Feuerbach 1852
Anselm Feuerbach (1852) by Thomas Couture.
Plato's Symposium - Anselm Feuerbach - Google Cultural Institute
Plato's Symposium, depiction by Anselm Feuerbach

Feuerbach was born at Speyer, the son of the archaeologist Joseph Anselm Feuerbach and the grandson of the legal scholar Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach. The house of his birth is now a small museum.[1]

Between 1845 and 1848 he attended the Düsseldorf Academy, where he was taught by Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Wilhelm von Schadow, and Carl Sohn. He went on to the Munich Academy, but in 1850, along with a number of other dissatisfied students, he moved to the academy at Antwerp, where he studied under Gustav Wappers. Feuerbach moved to Paris in 1851, where he was a pupil of Thomas Couture until 1854.[2] It was in Paris that he produced his first masterpiece, Hafiz at the Fountain (1852).[3]

In 1854, funded by Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden he visited Venice,[2] where he fell under the spell of the greatest school of colourists, several of his works demonstrating a close study of the Italian masters.[3] From there he continued to Florence and then to Rome. He remained in Rome until 1873, making brief visits back to Germany.[2] In 1861 he met Anna Risi (known as "Nanna"), who sat as his model for the next four years.[2]:270 In 1866 she was succeeded as his principal model by Lucia Brunacci, an innkeeper's wife who posed for his pictures of Medea.[2] In 1862 Feuerbach met Count Adolf Friedrich von Schack, who commissioned copies of Italian old masters from him. The count introduced him to Arnold Böcklin and Hans von Marées. The three artists became known as the Deutschrömer ("German Romans") because of their preference for Italian over German art.[2]

Between 1869 and 1874 he painted two versions of Plato's Symposium.[4]

In 1873 Feuerbach moved to Vienna, having been appointed professor of history painting at the Academy.[2] Feuerbach developed a disagreement with architect Theophil Hansen over his ceiling mural The Fall of the Titans, painted for the Great Hall of the new Academy building on the Ringstrasse. While in the Vienna he came to know Johannes Brahms. Brahms later dedicated a composition to Feuerbach, Nänie.

Last years

Feuerbach Iphigenie1
Iphigenia, first (1862) version (Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt)

In 1877 he resigned from his post at the Vienna Academy and moved to Venice, where he died in 1880.[2] Brahms composed Nänie, a piece for chorus and orchestra, in his memory.

Following his death, his step-mother Henriette, to whom he had always been close, and who had always done much to promote his career, wrote a book entitled Ein Vermächtnis ("A Testament" or "A Legacy"), including his letters and autobiographical notes. It proved enormously successful and greatly enhanced his posthumous reputation.[5]

According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica:

He was steeped in classic knowledge, and his figure compositions have the statuesque dignity and simplicity of Greek art. He was the first to realize the danger arising from contempt of technique, that mastery of craftsmanship was needed to express even the loftiest ideas, and that an ill-drawn coloured cartoon can never be the supreme achievement in art.[3]

His works are housed at leading public galleries in Germany. Stuttgart has the second version of Iphigenia; Karlsruhe, the Dante at Ravenna; Munich, the Medea; and Berlin, The Concert, his last important painting. Other major works include The Battle of the Amazons, Pietà, The Symposium of Plato, Orpheus and Eurydice and Ariosto in the Park of Ferrara.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "Home - Feuerbachhaus Speyer".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Artist biography in German Masters of the Nineteenth Century, p.268
  3. ^ a b c d Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911
  4. ^ J.G. Lesher. "Some Notable Afterimages of Plato's Symposium". Harvard University.
  5. ^ Schiff, Gert, "An Epoch of longing" in German Masters of the Nineteenth Century, pp.24–7


External links

1203 Nanna

1203 Nanna, provisional designation 1931 TA, is a carbonaceous asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, about 35 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 5 October 1931, by German astronomer Max Wolf at Heidelberg Observatory in southwest Germany, and named after a model of painter Anselm Feuerbach.

1829 in art

Events in the year 1829 in Art.

1852 in art

Events from the year 1852 in art.

1870 in art

Events from the year 1870 in art.

1880 in Germany

Events from the year 1880 in Germany.

1880 in art

Events from the year 1880 in art.

Feuerbach (surname)

Feuerbach is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach (1775–1833), German legal scholar

Joseph Anselm Feuerbach (1798–1851), German philologist and archaeologist

Karl Wilhelm Feuerbach (1800–1834), German mathematician

Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–1872), German philosopher and anthropologist

Henriette Feuerbach (1812–1892), German writer, wife of Joseph Anselm, and patron of the art of her stepson Anselm

Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880), classicist painter

Lawrence Feuerbach (1879–1911), American shot-put Olympian

Al Feuerbach (born 1948), American shot putter

Francesca da Rimini

Francesca da Rimini or Francesca da Polenta (1255 – ca. 1285) was the daughter of Guido da Polenta, lord of Ravenna. She was a historical contemporary of Dante Alighieri, who portrayed her as a character in the Divine Comedy.

Friedrich Wilhelm Heidenreich

Friedrich Wilhelm Heidenreich (2 September 1798 in Roßtal – 6 December 1857 in Ansbach) was a German physician. He was a brother-in-law to archaeologist Joseph Anselm Feuerbach who married his sister Henriette.

From 1817 to 1821, he studied medicine at the University of Würzburg, obtaining his doctorate with a dissertation titled Tubercula in cerebro reperta. Following graduation, he worked as a physician in the cities of Roth and Nuremberg. From 1824 onward, he maintained a medical practice in Ansbach.Heidenreich notably took part in the autopsy of Kaspar Hauser, following the latter's mysterious death in December 1833. As a result of his findings, he published the treatise Kaspar Hauser's Verwundung, Krankheit und Leichenöffnung ("Kaspar Hauser's wounds, illness and autopsy").

Henriette Feuerbach

Henriette Feuerbach (13 August 1812 – 5 August 1892) was a German author and arts patron. She was the wife of Joseph Anselm Feuerbach and the stepmother of painter Anselm Feuerbach, whom she supported in his art.

Joseph Anselm Feuerbach

Joseph Anselm Feuerbach (9 September 1798 – 8 September 1851) was a German classical philologist and archaeologist.

Joseph Heine

Joseph (von) Heine (28 November 1803 – 4 November 1877) was a German physician and a high civil servant in the Bavarian health service in the Rheinkreis.

Ludwig Feuerbach

Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach (German pronunciation: [ˈluːtvɪç ˈfɔʏ̯ɐbax]; 28 July 1804 – 13 September 1872) was a German philosopher and anthropologist best known for his book The Essence of Christianity, which provided a critique of Christianity which strongly influenced generations of later thinkers, including Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Engels, Richard Wagner, and Friedrich Nietzsche.An associate of Left Hegelian circles, Feuerbach advocated liberalism, atheism, and materialism. Many of his philosophical writings offered a critical analysis of religion. His thought was influential in the development of historical materialism, where he is often recognized as a bridge between Hegel and Marx.


Nänie (the German form of Latin naenia, meaning "a funeral song" named after the Roman goddess Nenia) is a composition for SATB chorus and orchestra, Op. 82 by Johannes Brahms, which sets to music the poem "Nänie" by Friedrich Schiller. Brahms composed the piece in 1881, in memory of his deceased friend Anselm Feuerbach. Nänie is a lamentation on the inevitability of death; the first sentence, "Auch das Schöne muß sterben", translates to "Even the beautiful must die". An average performance has a duration of approximately 15 minutes.

Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach

Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach (14 November 1775 – 29 May 1833) was a German legal scholar. His major work was a reform of the Bavarian penal code which became a model for several other countries.


The Schackgalerie is a museum in Munich. It is one of the noted galleries in this city. The museum is under supervision of the Bavarian State Picture Collection.


Speyer (German pronunciation: [ˈʃpaɪ̯ɐ], older spelling Speier, known as Spire in French and formerly as Spires in English) is a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, with approximately 50,000 inhabitants. Located beside the river Rhine, Speyer is 25 km (16 miles) south of Ludwigshafen and Mannheim. Founded by the Romans, it is one of Germany's oldest cities.

Speyer is dominated by the Speyer Cathedral, a number of churches and the Altpörtel (old gate). In the cathedral, beneath the high altar, are the tombs of eight Holy Roman Emperors and German kings.

The city is famous for the 1529 Protestation at Speyer.

Symposium (painting)

Symposium or Das Gastmahl des Platon are paintings by the German painter Anselm Feuerbach from c. 1869 and 1873/74 of a moment from Plato's Symposium, when the drunken Alcibiades and revelers enter the house of the poet Agathon. Socrates, near the wall at right-centre, turns his back on the scene, and bows his head.The 1869 painting is in the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the 1874 painting in the Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

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