Wagner, Johann Martin von

BORN 24 Jun 1777, Würzburg, Bayern - DIED 8 Aug 1858, Roma, Lazio: Villa Malta
GRAVE LOCATION Roma, Lazio: Campo Santo Teutonico, Via di Porta Cavalleggeri

Johan Martin von Wagner's father Johan Peter von Wagner was court sculptor in Würzburg. Johan Martin studied painting in Vienna and Paris and returned to Würzburg in 1802 after he ran out of money. In 1803 he won a prize in Weimar and Goethe helped him to obtain a professorship in Würzburg in combination with an offer to study for two years in Rome.

In Rome he worked as drawing master in the house of Wilhelm von Humboldt. He stayed in Rome for four years and on his way home he met crown prince Ludwig of Bavaria in Innsbruck. Soon he became art advisor to Ludwig and in 1810 he went to Rome again.

By that time he had become a sculptor instead of a painter, but he spent most of his time collecting art for Ludwig, who had become king of Bavaria. For Ludwig he created a large fries for the Walhalla in Regensburg.

From 1831 onwards he lived in the Villa Malta in Rome that was owned by Ludwig. In 1841 Ludwig appointed him as director of the Pinakothek in Munich, but he resigned immediately and stayed in Rome. Ludwig accepted this and he continued his work for the king until Ludwig abdicated in 1848.

In December 1857 he handed over the ownership of his art collection to the University of Würzburg. He died in 1858 in Rome.

Related persons
• was helped by Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• worked for Ludwig I, König von Bayern


The grave monument of Johann Martin von Wagner at the Campo Santo Teutonico, Rome.
Picture by Androom (25 Jan 2010)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Johann Martin von Wagner – Wikipedia

Wagner, Johanna Rosina

Published: 01 Dec 2017
Last update: 24 Feb 2022