Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Adolph Menzel - part 1

1839 Portrait of Adolph Menzel
by Friedrich Eduard Myerheim
oil on canvas 42.7 x 36.6 cm
Arte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Adolph Menzel was born in Breslau, Silesia (then part of Prussia), in 1815. His father was a lithographer and intended to educate his son as a professor; however, he would not thwart his taste for art. After resigning his teaching post, Menzel senior set up a lithographic workshop in 1818. In 1830 the family moved to Berlin, and in 1832 Adolph was forced to take over the lithographic business on the death of his father. In 1833, he studied briefly at the Berlin Academy of Art, where he drew from plaster casts and ancient sculptures; thereafter Menzel was self-taught. Louis Friedrich Sachse  of Berlin published his first work in 1833, an album of pen-and-ink drawings reproduced on stone, to illustrate Goethe’s little poem, Kunstlers Erdenwallen. He executed lithographs in the same manner to illustrate Denkwürdigkeiten aus der brandenburgisch-preussischen GeschichteThe Five Senses and The Prayer, as well as diplomas for various corporations and societies.
From 1839 to 1842, he produced 400 drawings, largely introducing to Germany the technique of wood-engraving, illustrate the History of Frederick the Great by Franz Kugler. He subsequently brought out The Uniforms of the Army under Frederick the Great, The Soldiers of Frederick the Great; and finally, by order of King Frederick William IV, he illustrated the works of Frederick the Great, (1843–1849). The artist had a deep sympathy for the Prussian king. In one of his letters to Johann Jakob Weber, he said that it was his intention to represent the monarch as a man who was both hated and admired—simply as he was, in other words, as a man of the people. Through these works, Menzel established his claim to be considered one of the first, if not actually the first, of the illustrators of his day in his own line.
In the meantime, Menzel had also begun to study, unaided, the art of painting, and he soon produced a great number and variety of pictures. His paintings consistently demonstrated keen observation and honest workmanship in subjects dealing with the life and achievements of Frederick the Great, and scenes of everyday life, such as In the TuileriesThe Ball Supper, and At Confession. Among those considered most important of these works are Iron Rolling Mill (1872–1875) and The Market-place at Verona. When invited to paint The Coronation of William I at Koenigsberg, he produced an exact representation of the ceremony without regard to the traditions of official painting.
During Menzel's life, his paintings were appreciated by Otto von Bismarck and William I, and after his death they were appropriated for use as electoral posters by Adolf Hitler. Private drawings and watercolours made of dead and dying soldiers in 1866 on the battlefields of the Austro-Prussian War are unsparing in their realism, and have been described by art historian Marie Ursula Riemann-Reyher as "unique in German art of the time."
 The paintings which were available to the public garnered recognition not only within Germany, but from the French avant-garde as well: Edgar Degas admired and copied his work, calling him "the greatest living master," and Luis Edmond Duranty wrote of his art:
“In a word, the man is everywhere independent, sincere, with sure vision, a decisive note that can sometimes be a little brutal... While being perfectly healthy he has the neurosis of truthfulness... The man who has measured with a compass the buttons on a uniform from the time of Frederick, when it is a matter of depicting a modern shoe, waistcoat, or coiffure, does not make them by approximations but totally, in their absolute form and without smallness of means. He puts there everything that is called for by the character (of the object). Free, large, and rapid in his drawing, no draftsman is as definitive as he.”
Notwithstanding Menzel's professed estrangement from others, his renown entailed social obligations, and in the 1880s the poet Jules Laforgue described him as "no taller than a cuirassier-guard's boot, bedecked with pendants and orders, not missing a single one of these parties, moving among all these personages like a gnome and like the greatest enfant terrible for the chronicler." In Germany he received many honours, and in 1898 became the first painter to be admitted to the Order of the Black Eagle;  by virtue of receiving the Order, Menzel was raised to the nobility, becoming "Adolph von Menzel". He was also made a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Royal Academy in London. After his death in 1905 in Berlin, his funeral arrangements were directed by the Kaiser, who walked behind his coffin.
Biography from Wikipedia


This is part 1 of 10 on the works of Adolph Menzel:


1829 Presentation of Rewards to the Participants
 of the Festival
watercolour an gouache over pencil on Bristol paper
44.5 x 56.9 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

1831 Portrait of Albrecht Achilles, Elector of Brandenburg
lithograph on paper 13.8 x 18.4 cm
© The Trustees of the British Museum, London

1834 The Broken Bottle
lithograph 13 x 11.1 cm (image)
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

1834 The Rocking Bottles
lithograph 10.7 x 12.5 cm (image)
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

1834 The Fleeing Year
lithograph 34.1 x 21.7 cm (sheet)
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA

1834-36 Denkwürdigkeiten aus der brandenburgisch-preussischen Geschichte "Memorabilia from the Brandenburg-Prussian History" 
Twelve lithographs on paper:


 Title sheet




































1834-36 Memorabilia from the Brandenburg-Prussian History:

Vicelin preaches the turn of Christianity around the year 1137
lithograph 33.4 x 37 cm

Margrave Albrecht the Bear stormed the festivals Brennabor (Brandenburg), 1157
 lithograph 32.1 x 37 cm

Friedrich Graf von Hohenzollern becomes Elector of Brandenburg, April 18, 1417
 lithograph 32.6 x 37.3 cm

Elector Joachim II converts to
Lutheranism, November 1, 1539
lithograph 32.8 x 36.5 cm

Frederick William, the Great Elector, receives the hereditary homage of the Prussian Estates, to Königsberg,
October 18, 1663
lithograph 31.8 x 37 cm

Battle of Fehrbellin, June 18, 1675
lithograph 31.5 x 36.9 cm

Frederick, first King of Prussia, anointed at Königsberg,
18 January 1701
lithograph 32.2 x 36.9 cm

The immigrant Salzburg Protestants, 1732
 lithograph 31.1 x 36.5 cm

Battle of Mollwitz, 1741
lithograph 31.4 x 36.8 cm

Battle of Leuthen
lithograph 31.3 x 36.7 cm

The Volunteers!
lithograph 31.1 x 36.9 cm

Victory!
lithograph 31.6 x 36.8 cm

Radierversuche 
published 1844:

Plate 1 from Radierversuche
etching on ivory wove paper2 8 x 20.5 cm (plate)
 Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Plate 2 from Radierversuche
etching on ivory wove paper 15.5 x 21 cm (plate)
 Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Plate 3 from Radierversuche
etching on ivory wove paper 10.5 x 15.5 cm (plate)
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Plate 4 from Radierversuche
etching on ivory wove paper 812 x 16 cm (plate)
 Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Plate 5 from Radierversuche
etching on ivory wove paper 10 x 15.5 cm (plate)
 Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Plate 6 from Radierversuche
etching on ivory wove paper 28 x 20 cm (plate)
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1835 The Five Senses
lithograph
© The Trustees of the British Museum, London

1836 The Game of Chess
oil on canvas 42 x 42 cm
Private Collection

1837 Consultation at the Advocates Office
oil on canvas 37.8 x 28.8 cm
Private Collection

1838 Day of the Hearing
oil on canvas 29.1 x 36.1 cm
Alte Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

1839 A New Year's Greeting
pen and black ink 8.7 x 11.8 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1840 Frederick the Great's Study in the Palace of Potsdam
graphite 29.8 x 12.9 cm
Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

1840 The Artist's Sister Emilie
black and white chalk
Private Collection

1840 The Vest of August the Strong
graphite on wove paper 13.3 x 20.7 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

c1840-50 The Artist's Fur
oil on paper 38.6 x 44.5 cm
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen - Neue Pinakothek München

1840s Standing Young Man
black chalk with white opaque watercolour on brown paper 30.4 x 16.5 cm
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York

1842 Fields, Trees, and Sheep Grazing
graphite 12.7 x 20.4 cm
Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

c1842-43 House and Bare Bushes
graphite 20.9 x 13 cm
Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

c1842-43 Path Lined with Bare Hedges
graphite 20.5 x 12.9 cm
Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

c1842-43 The Schafgraben Flooded pencil 21 x 15 cm Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

c1843-44 Woman Sleeping
oil on canvas 17 x 21 cm
Alte Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

1843-47 Hamlet and Polonius
etching and drypoint on wove paper 21.9 x 17.7 cm (plate)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1844 An Uninvited Guest
watercolour, pencil and ink

1844 Dr Puhlmann's Bookcase
graphite 26.9 x 21 cm
Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

1844 Head of a Bearded Workman in Profile
oil on canvas laid down on board 40.1 x 29.6 cm
 Alte Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

1844 Moving out of a Cellar
graphite 13.1 x 20.8 cm
Kupferstichkabinett - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

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