Menzel, Adolf Friedrich Erdmann

BORN 8 Dec 1815, Breslau - DIED 9 Feb 1905, Berlin
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof II, Bergmanstrasse, Kreuzberg (A-W.S.-48)

Important painter of nineteenth century German realism. He worked in his father's lithography shop in Breslau and moved to Berlin with his family in 1830 where he taught himself painting.

Between 1850 and 1860 he painted several scenes from the life of Frederick the Great. In his own time he was best known for his historical paintings and in 1861 he was the official painter of the Coronation of Wilhelm I at Königsberg. This commission took him four years.

In 1875 his large painting The Iron Rolling Mill was purchased by the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. It was a complete new subject in those days in German painting. By now he was famous and established as a leading painter and he received many honours. In 1898 he was elevated to nobility and when he died in 1905 Wilhelm ordered a state funeral.

In the twentieth century his more sensitive work was remembered and he was seen as a predecessor of impressionism.

Related persons
• was a friend of Beckmann, Wilhelm
• was influenced by Constable, John

Schilderkunst van A tot Z, REBO, Lisse, 1990
Art Galleries - Contemporary and Modern Art Galleries on artnet


The grave of Adolf Menzel at the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof II, Bergmanstrasse, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (15 Jul 2005)


"Kostümstudie" (Menzels Schwester Emilie).
(Winterthur: Kunstmuseum)

Merce, Antonia

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 18 Sep 2005