Adolph Menzel Biography | Oil Paintings

12-8-1815 Breslau, GER – 2-9-1905 Berlin, GER

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Menzel, Adolph

The leading exponent of German Realism, Adolph Menzel, was born in Wroclaw in 1815 and died at the age of ninety in Berlin. He was an active protagonist on the European cultural scene in the second half of the century when his personal and artistic life mirrored the evolution of the Realist movement.

In this work The French Window, from the relatively late beginning of his career as a painter, Adolph von Menzel is apparently intolerant of the Nazarene's' glorification of the past. Here, the artist depicts a Biedermeier style bedroom (partly reflected in the large mirror on the right) rendered with warmth and simplicity, and great sensitivity of light on the scene.

Menzel and German Realism, make Germany Great Again.

Around 1840 the ardors of Romanticism were cooling in Germany and throughout Europe. The ideals of the Nazarenes were beginning to seem completely irrelevant and the public no longer identified with Friederich's anxiety. While the Biedermeier style was a tasteful response to the demands of a growing bourgeoisie, the upper class ( particularly the Junkers of the Prussian aristocracy) sought a concrete, realistic style that conveyed the image of a strong German society.

The Flute Concert Of Frederick The Great At Sanssouci. The political, military, and economic growth of Berlin and Prussia was also spurred by the return of Frederick the Great, considered the “father of the fatherland” and a model of virtue, both on a personal level and in his rule over the country.

The artists of German Realism substantially identified both culturally and on a socioeconomic level, with the public, unlike in France where artists like Courbet, Daumier, and the Impressionists represented a provocation to their viewers. Attracted by modern subjects, Menzel confers an epic tone on the work depicted in The Foundry. The furnace resembles the Cyclopes at Vulcan's forge. Menzel declares” the heat, effort, noise, and agitation literally burst out of the painting onto the viewer.”

From a humble background, he began his career as an illustrator, went to study in Italy, supported the revolutionary movements of 1848, taught at the Berlin Academy, and was in contact with the Parisian Impressionists. He also admired technological progress and participated, by producing highly successful celebratory paintings, in the consolidation of power under Bismark.

Art Movement History: Realism
He Traveled To France, England, Italy
Painters Adolph Menzel Influenced: Edgar Degas
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.

Adolph Menzel Hand-Painted Oil Painting Reproductions.

Adolph Menzel Museum Art Replicas on Canvas.

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