Joseph Anton Koch

Joseph Anton Koch (27 July 1768 – 12 January 1839) was an Austrian painter of Neoclassicism and later the German Romantic movement; he is perhaps the most significant neoclassical landscape painter.

Joseph Anton Koch


Joseph Anton Koch (Austrian - Landscape with Abraham and the Three Angels in the Valley of Mambre - Google Art Project
Joseph Anton Koch (Austrian - Landscape with Abraham and the Three Angels in the Valley of Mambre

The Tyrolese painter was born in Elbigenalp. Early in his life he was tending cattle. Through the recommendation of Bishop Umgelder (1785), he received academic training in the Karlsschule Stuttgart, a strict military academy. In 1791, he ran away, and traveled through France and Switzerland. He arrived in Rome in 1795. Koch was close to the painter Asmus Jacob Carstens and carried on Carstens' "heroic" art, at first in a literal manner. He etched the pages of Carstens' Les Argonautes, selon Pindar, Orphée et Apollonius de Rhode (Rome, 1799).

Waterfalls at Subiaco Joseph Anton Koch.jpeg
Waterfalls at Subiaco (1812-1813).

After 1800, Koch developed as a landscape painter. In Rome, he espoused a new type of "heroic" landscape, revising the classical compositions of Poussin and Lorrain with a more rugged, mountainous scenery. In 1812, forced through inadequate income from his work, or in protest of the French invasion, he went to Vienna, where he worked prolifically. He stayed in Vienna until 1815. During this period, he incorporated more non-classical themes in his work. In Vienna, he was influenced by Friedrich Schlegel and enthusiasts of old German art. In response, his style became harsher.

1834 Koch Landschaft mit Bileam anagoria
Koch Landscape with Bileam 1834

Koch returned to Rome, and became a conspicuous figure in the German artists' colony there. He painted, among other works, the four frescoes in the Dante Room of the Villa Massimi (1824–29).His presence and personality had considerable influence among the younger generation in the art life of Rome, and his new approach had a wide influence on German landscape painters who visited Rome. He wrote Moderne Kunstchronik oder die rumfordische Suppe gekocht und geschrieben von J. A. Koch (Stuttgart, 1834) which was directed humorously against unjustifiable criticism and false connoisseurship.

Koch's last years were spent in great poverty. He died in Rome,where he was buried in the Teutonic Cemetery, located next to St. Peter's Basilica within Vatican City.


  • Landscape with Noah, ca. 1803 - oil on canvas [86 × 116 cm] (Städel Museum, Frankfurt)
  • Schmadribach Falls in the Lauterbach Valley, 1811
  • Noah's Sacrifice, 1813
  • Grimsel Pass, 1813
  • View in the Sabine Mountains, 1813
  • Monastery of San Francesco di Civitella, 1814
  • Landscape with Ruth and Boaz, ca. 1823/25 - oil on canvas
  • View of Nauplia, 1830
  • View Near Subiaco
  • Macbeth and the Witches

He etched 20 Italian landscapes and a large sheet representing The Oath of the French at Millesimo; 14 pages after Dante, adding later another 30 pages (published Vicenza, 1904), and 36 pages after Ossian. He contributed American landscape scenes to the works of Alexander von Humboldt (1805).

Der Schmadribachfall, 1821-22

Der Schmadribachfall, 1821

Joseph Anton Koch - Serpentaralandschaft mit Hirten und Rindern an der Quelle

Landscape with Shepherds and Cows and at the Spring

Joseph Anton Koch - Heroic Landscape with Rainbow - WGA12230

Heroic Landscape with a Rainbow (1805).

Koch, Joseph Anton — Landschaft bei Olevano mit reitendem Mönch — um 1830

Landschaft bei Olevano mit reitendem Mönch, (1830)

Josef Anton Koch (circle) Raub von Proserpina

Raub von Proserpina


  • Vaughan, William (1980). German Romantic Painting. New Haven and London: Yale University Press; pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-300-02387-1

Further reading

  • Strauss, Kleine Schriften (Bonn, 1877)
  • Frimmel, in Dohme, Kunst und Künstler des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1884)

External links

1768 in art

Events from the year 1768 in art.

1839 in art

Events from the year 1839 in art.

Carl Friedrich von Rumohr

Carl Friedrich von Rumohr (6 January 1785, Reinhardtsgrimma – 25 July 1843) was a German art historian, writer, draughtsman and painter, agricultural historian, connoisseur of and writer about the culinary arts, art collector and patron of artists.

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 Mosbrugger

Friedrich Mosbrugger, also known as Fritz Moosbrugger (19 September 1804 in Konstanz – 17 October 1830 in Saint Petersburg) was a German portrait and genre painter in the Realistic style. He came from a family that had a widespread reputation as builders, plasterers and painters.

German Romanticism

German Romanticism was the dominant intellectual movement of German-speaking countries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, influencing philosophy, aesthetics, literature and criticism. Compared to English Romanticism, the German variety developed relatively late, and, in the early years, coincided with Weimar Classicism (1772–1805). In contrast to the seriousness of English Romanticism, the German variety of Romanticism notably valued wit, humour, and beauty.

The early period, roughly 1797 to 1802, is referred to as Frühromantik or Jena Romanticism. The philosophers and writers central to the movement were Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (1773–1798), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775–1854), Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829), August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767–1845), Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853), and Friedrich von Hardenberg (Novalis) (1772–1801).The early German romantics strove to create a new synthesis of art, philosophy, and science, by viewing the Middle Ages as a simpler period of integrated culture; however, the German romantics became aware of the tenuousness of the cultural unity they sought. Late-stage German Romanticism emphasized the tension between the daily world and the irrational and supernatural projections of creative genius. In particular, the critic Heinrich Heine criticized the tendency of the early German romantics to look to the medieval past for a model of unity in art and society.

Heinrich Reinhold

Johann Heinrich Carl Reinhold (18 July 1788–15 January 1825) was a German painter and engraver.

Johann Christian Reinhart

Johann Christian Reinhart (24 January 1761 – 9 June 1847) was a German painter and engraver. He was one of the founders, along with Joseph Anton Koch, of German romantic classical landscape painting.

Johann Martin von Rohden

Johann Martin von Rohden (b Kassel, 30 July 1778; d Rome, 9 September 1868) was a German painter active for most of his career in Rome.

Johann Michael Wittmer

Johann Michael Wittmer (15 October 1802, Murnau am Staffelsee - 9 May 1880, Munich) was a German painter who came from a family of painters and sculptors and was associated with the "Deutschrömer" (Germans artists and writers who lived in Rome). He is often referred to as "Johann Michael Wittmer II", to distinguish him from an earlier family member of the same name.

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (26 March 1794 – 24 May 1872) was a German painter, associated with the Nazarene movement.

Karl Philipp Fohr

Karl Philipp Fohr, a brother of Daniel Fohr, was born at Heidelberg in 1795. He started his studies of painting with Friedrich Rottmann, and was largely self-taught. In 1810 he was discovered by the painter Georg Wilhelm Issel, who invited him to Darmstadt in 1811. There Johann Philipp Dieffenbach introduced him to Grand Dutchess Wilhelmine of Hessen, who acted as a patron and placed small orders from him.

Later he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he became friends with fellow student Ludwig Sigismun Ruhl, from whom he learned painting in oil. Fohr dropped out of the Academy to travel on foot to northern Italy, and arrived in Rome in 1816. He briefly joined the circle of the Nazarenes, but increasingly developed his own style. In Rome, he shared a studio with the landscape painter Joseph Anton Koch, whose paintings influenced Fohr's style.

One of Fohr's most important works is the design for a group portrait of German artists in Rome at the Café Greco.

On June 29 1818 Fohr drownd whilst bathing in the river Tiber with his friends Carl Barth, Johann Anton Ramboux, and Samuel Amsler. To raise funds for a monument in his memory, they created a print after a drawing of Fohr by Barth. Samuel Amsler produced the print, as Barth was too distressed to make the print himself.

Karlsschule Stuttgart

Hohe Karlsschule (Karl's High School) was the strict military academy founded by Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg in Stuttgart, Germany. It was first founded in 1770 as a military orphanage, but then converted into a military academy in 1773 for the duke.Politically the duke was quite unimportant and with this school he wanted to enhance his prestige. In 1770, it was moved to Castle Solitude, and in 1775 into the city. Raised in 1781 by Emperor Joseph II to university status under the name Karls Hohe Schule, it was disbanded after the death of Duke Carl Eugen by his brother Ludwig Eugen, Duke of Württemberg in 1794. The building, situated behind Neues Schloss, was destroyed in World War II.

Nazarene movement

The epithet Nazarene was adopted by a group of early 19th century German Romantic painters who aimed to revive honesty and spirituality in Christian art. The name Nazarene came from a term of derision used against them for their affectation of a biblical manner of clothing and hair style.


Romagna (Romagnol: Rumâgna) is an Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna, North Italy. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennines to the south-west, the Adriatic to the east, and the rivers Reno and Sillaro to the north and west. The region's major cities include Cesena, Faenza, Forlì, Imola, Ravenna, Rimini and City of San Marino (San Marino is a landlocked state inside the Romagna historical region). The region has been recently formally expanded with the transfer of seven comuni (Casteldelci, Maiolo, Novafeltria, Pennabilli, San Leo, Sant'Agata Feltria, Talamello) from the Marche region, which are a small number of comuni where Romagnolo dialect is spoken.

State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart

The State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart (German:Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart) is a university in Stuttgart, Germany.

Tyrolean Rebellion

The Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809 (German: Tiroler Volksaufstand) was a rebellion of peasants in the County of Tyrol led by Andreas Hofer against the occupation of their homeland by the French and Bavarian troops within the context of the War of the Fifth Coalition against Napoleon I.

Tyrolean State Museum

The Tyrolean State Museum (German: Tiroler Landesmuseum), also known as the Ferdinandeum after Archduke Ferdinand, is located in Innsbruck, Austria. It was founded in 1823 by the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum Society (Verein Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum).

Since 2007 it has been a major division of the Tyrolean State Museums Operating Company (Tiroler Landesmuseen-Betriebsgesellschaft), which has taken over the running of the business. Also transferred to the operating company at the same time were the Tyrolean Museum of Popular Art, the Kaiserschützen Museum, the Chapel Royal (Hofkirche) and the Tyrolean Folk Song Archives (Tiroler Volksliedarchiv). The company is run by Wolfgang Meighörner, who is also the curator of the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum.

The Tyrolean State Museum comprises seven collections. In addition, the Museum in the Armoury (historic and technical collection of the cultural history of Tyrol) and the natural history collection also belong to the Ferdinandeum.

The main collections of the Tyrolean State Museum cover:

History from prehistoric times through the Roman era to the Early Middle Ages,

Art and crafts from Romanesque through Gothic to Modern,

The Netherlands collection and music room with Jakob Stainer instruments,

Works of art including those by Michael Pacher, Lucas Cranach der Ältere, Rembrandt van Rijn, Joseph Anton Koch, Angelica Kauffman, Franz Defregger and Albin Egger-Lienz.

The library whose main emphasis is the TyrolThe building complex was renovated in 2003 and some parts were added to.

The natural and human science activity of the museum has been documented since 2008 in the Scientific Yearbook of the Tyrolean State Museum (Wissenschaftlichen Jahrbuch der Tiroler Landesmuseen). It is a successor to the older publications: Zeitschrift des Ferdinandeums für Tirol und Vorarlberg (1853–1920) and Veröffentlichungen des Museum Ferdinandeum (1921–2007).

In addition the Ferdinandeum issues the reference work, Tiroler Urkundenbuch, which makes the historical sources from the Tyrolean Middle Ages accessible.


The Wetterhorn (3,692 m) is a peak in the Swiss Alps towering above the village of Grindelwald. Formerly known as Hasle Jungfrau, it is one of three summits on a mountain named the "Wetterhörner", the highest of which is the Mittelhorn (3,704 m) and the lowest and most distant the Rosenhorn (3,689 m). The latter peaks are mostly hidden from view from Grindelwald.

The Grosse Scheidegg Pass crosses the col to the north, between the Wetterhorn and the Schwarzhorn.

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