Rethel, Alfred

BORN 15 May 1816, Haus Diepenbend (near Aachen) - DIED 1 Dec 1859, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen
GRAVE LOCATION Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen: Golzheimer Friedhof, Fischerstrasse (Feld 1)

Alfred Rethel studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf under Wilhelm von Schadow and first exhibited there in 1832. His early work showed the influence of Cornelius.

In 1836 he moved to Frankfurt am Main where he worked at the Städelsche Kunstinstitut and painted his first frescoe. In 1839 he won the contest for the Crowning Hall of the City Hall in Aachen and he created frescoes on the life of Charlemagne. The cycle was never finished after controversy broke out and some of te frescoes were destroyed during the Second World War.

His series of wood engravings "Another Dance of Death" (1849) was about the events of the revolution of 1848. In 1852 he settled in Dresden, but there he lost his senses. He died in a mental institute in Düsseldorf in 1859. His name seemd to be forgotten, but during the 20th century he was recognized as one of the best German painters of monuments.

Related persons
• was teacher to Feuerbach, Anselm
• was pupil to Schadow-Godenhaus, Wilhelm Friedrich von


The grave of Alfred Rethel at the Golzheimer Friedhof in Düsseldorf.
Picture by Androom (05 Nov 2005)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Alfred Rethel – Wikipedia

Réthy-Imre, Esther

Published: 29 Apr 2006
Last update: 19 May 2018