The Düsseldorf school of painting refers to a group of painters who taught or studied at the Düsseldorf Academy (now the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf or Düsseldorf State Art Academy) in the 1830s and 1840s, when the Academy was directed by the painter Wilhelm von Schadow. The work of the Düsseldorf School is characterized by finely detailed yet fanciful landscapes, often with religious or allegorical stories set in the landscapes. Leading members of the Düsseldorf School advocated "plein air painting", and tended to use a palette with relatively subdued and even colors. The Düsseldorf School grew out of and was a part of the German Romantic movement. Prominent members of the Düsselorf School included von Schadow, Karl Friedrich Lessing, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Andreas Achenbach, Hans Fredrik Gude, Oswald Achenbach, and Adolf Schrödter.
The Düsseldorf School had a significant influence on the Hudson River School in the United States, and many prominent Americans trained at the Düsseldorf Academy and show the influence of the Düsseldorf School, including George Caleb Bingham, David Edward Cronin, Eastman Johnson, Worthington Whittredge, Richard Caton Woodville, William Stanley Haseltine, James McDougal Hart, Helen Searle, and William Morris Hunt, as well as German émigré Emanuel Leutze. Albert Bierstadt applied but was not accepted. His American friend Worthington Whittredge became his teacher while attending Düsseldorf.
Between 1819 and 1918, some 4000 artists belonged to the Düsseldorf school of painting, including:
Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 – February 18, 1902) was a German-American painter best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.
Born in Prussia, Bierstadt was brought to the United States at the age of one by his parents. He later returned to study painting for several years in Düsseldorf. He became part of the Hudson River School in New York, an informal group of like-minded painters who started painting along the Hudson River. Their style was based on carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism. An important interpreter of the western landscape, Bierstadt, along with Thomas Moran, is also grouped with the Rocky Mountain School.Alexandre Calame
Alexandre Calame (28 May 1810 – 19 March 1864) was a Swiss landscape painter, associated with the Düsseldorf School.Andreas Achenbach
Andreas Achenbach (29 September 1815, Kassel - 1 April 1910, Düsseldorf) was a German landscape and seascape painter in the Romantic style. He is considered to be one of the founders of the Düsseldorf School. His brother, Oswald, was also a well known landscape painter. Together, based on their initials, they were known as the "Alpha and Omega" of landscape painters.Arnold Böcklin
Arnold Böcklin (16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901) was a Swiss symbolist painter.August Cappelen
Hermann August Cappelen (1 May 1827 – 8 March 1852) was a Norwegian painter. Cappelen was best known for his melancholic, dramatic and romantic landscape compositions.Bengt Nordenberg
Bengt Nordenberg (April 22, 1822 – December 18, 1902) was a Swedish artist. He belonged to the Düsseldorf school of painting and is best known for his genre paintings with everyday life scenes from the Dalarna, Skåne and Blekinge areas of Sweden. He moved to Düsseldorf in the 1850s.Ernst Deger
Ernst Deger (15 April 1809 in Bockenem – 27 January 1885 in Düsseldorf) was a 19th-century German religious artist. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.
In 1869 he became a professor in the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts).Eugen Dücker
Eugen Gustav Dücker (also Eugène Gustav Dücker; 10 February [O.S. 29 January] 1841 Arensburg (now Kuressaare, Estonia) – 6 December 1916 Düsseldorf, Germany) was a romanticist Baltic German painter.Fanny Churberg
Fanny Churberg (12 December 1845 Vaasa – 10 May 1892 Helsinki) was a Finnish landscape painter.Gunnar Berg (painter)
Gunnar Berg (21 May 1863 – 23 December 1893) was a Norwegian painter, known for his paintings of his native Lofoten. He principally painted memorable scenes of the everyday life of the local fishermen.Gustaf Cederström
Gustaf Olof Cederström (1845-1933) was a Swedish painter who specialized in historical scenes and portraits.Hans von Bartels
Hans von Bartels (25 December 1856 – 5 October 1913) was a German painter.Hermann Anschütz
Hermann Anschütz (12 October 1802 – 30 August 1880) was a German painter and professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.
Anschütz was born in Koblenz, his father Joseph Andreas Anschütz was an eminent musician and was in charge of a school for vocal and instrumental instruction, Hermann's younger brother Karl Anschütz ended up as an opera conductor in the United States.
It is traced, that he lived at Promenade Straße 1 in Munich around 1850. He died in Munich, where he was buried on the Old Southern Cemetery (Alter Südfriedhof).Jakob Becker
Jakob Becker (Dittelsheim at Worms, 15 March 1810, Frankfurt am Main, 22 December 1872) was a German painter.Peter Behrens
Peter Behrens (14 April 1868 – 27 February 1940) was a German architect and designer. He was important to the modernist movement, and several of the movement's leading names (including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius) worked for him in earlier stages of their careers.Peter Nicolai Arbo
Peter Nicolai Arbo (June 18, 1831 – October 14, 1892) was a Norwegian historical painter, who specialized in painting motifs from Norwegian history and images from Norse mythology. He is most noted for The wild Hunt of Odin, a dramatic motif based on the Wild Hunt legend and Valkyrie, which depicts a female figure from Norse mythology.Peter von Cornelius
Peter von Cornelius (23 September 1784 – 6 March 1867) was a German painter.Wilhelm Camphausen
Wilhelm Camphausen (8 February 1818, Düsseldorf – 16 June 1885, Düsseldorf), was a German painter who specialized in historical and battle scenes.William Holbrook Beard
William Holbrook Beard (April 13, 1824 – February 20, 1900) was an American artistic painter who is known best for his satirical paintings of beasts performing human-like activities.