Anselm Feuerbach (born 12 September 1829 in Speyer, Germany, January 4, 1880) was a German painter. He was the leading classicist painter of the German 19th-century school.
Anselm Feuerbach was a grandson of Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach and the son of Joseph Anselm Feuerbach and his wife Amalie, b. Keerl. As early as 1830, he lost his mother and, together with his sister Emilie, was placed with the grandparents in Ansbach for four years. In 1834 his father Henriette married Heydenreich; Two years later he was appointed to the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg and moved there with his family. Anselm Feuerbach attended the Gymnasium in Freiburg. From 1843 he received drawing lessons from the anatomy draftsman of the university. In 1844 he painted scenes from the Nibelungenlied and a selection of drawings was sent to Carl Friedrich Lessing and Wilhelm von Schadow to Duesseldorf. In 1845 he went to Düsseldorf for two years without school leaving, where he initially joined Schadow, then Alfred Rethel. At the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf he was a pupil of Wilhelm von Schadow, Karl Ferdinand’s son and Johann Wilhelm Schirmer. His first large painting, the Silenian Silen, was written in 1846. In 1848 he moved to Munich. The influence of Karl Rahl falls during this time.
In 1850 he went to Antwerp, where he studied with Gustave Wappers, and in 1851 to Paris. There he studied the modern masters and worked in Thomas Couture’s studio. Two of his first paintings, Hafis in the tavern and the death of Pietro Aretino, show the influence of coutures, but also point to the example of the Venetians, who later became more closely involved. Other painters who influenced him during this period were Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Courbet, Constant Troyon and Théodore Rousseau. Possibly, he also had contact with Édouard Manet in 1853.
In 1854 he returned to Germany and in 1855 he went to Heidelberg, where his now widowed stepmother and his sister Emilie lived. There he came into contact with Joseph Victor von Scheffel. He lived in Karlsruhe until April 1855, then went on a study trip to Italy with Scheffel, which led him first to Venice, where he copied Titian’s Ascension. In the summer he stayed at the Castel Toblino and did landscape studies. In late autumn he underwent syphilis in Venice. His journey took him to Florence and Rome in 1856, where he became acquainted with his later biographer, Julius Allgeyer, and where his studies of Michelangelo and Raphael gradually developed his own special direction. It was based on the historical-monumental style, but also on the richness of the colors of Venetian painting, but the luminosity of the local colors was dampened by gray tones. This met with violent criticism among his contemporaries.
In this period, Dante and the noble women of Ravenna (1858) were born.
From 1857, Feuerbach was a member of the German Artists’ Association in Rome. He became more familiar with Arnold Böcklin, Reinhold Begas, Karl Friedrich Fries and Ludwig Passini. From the collector Ludwig Landsberg he received the order for Dante. At that time he rented a studio in the Palazzo Costa. Because he wanted to keep his painting Dante, Feuerbach paid back in 1858 with the help of a loan from Scheffel Landsberg’s advance. The work was publicly exhibited in Piazza del Popolo in March and April. The German Consul in Palermo Karl Wedekind ordered a half-fledged children’s stand at Feuerbach after a visit to the studio.
In 1860 Feuerbach met Anna Risi, called Nanna. The wife of one of the artisans who came to Rome became his model and his mistress. This began the series of famous Nanna portraits. From May to October he was in Heidelberg for portraiture. In 1861 Feuerbach planned his Iphigenia and the banquet. In the summer he studied marine studies in Anzio. He rejected a call to the Grand Duke School of Art founded in Weimar in the previous year.
During his stay in Rome, he found a patron from 1862 to 1868 in Count von Schack, who bought eleven of his works. The stepmother Henriette was gradually leading the business correspondence with Schack.
The Iphigenia was exhibited in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Berlin in 1862.
Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, Laura and Petrarca, Hafis at the Well, Pieta (1863) and children’s paintings: Idyll from Tivoli, Deaf children’s concert and Mother’s happiness. If, in addition to the classical forms, these romantic paintings were still a romantic feature, Feuerbach from this point onwards turned almost exclusively to depicting ancient objects in the garment of modern colorism, which was muted and bound by a completely plastic form treatment. Examples of this are Iphigenie (1871, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart) and Die Gastmahl des Plato (1873, Berliner Nationalgalerie) as well as Die Amazonenschlacht, The judgment of Paris and several pictures from the saga of the Medea. Feuerbach’s friendship with Bocklin broke, and he harbored suicide. In 1865 Feuerbach again worked on the composition of the banquet. He concluded a closer acquaintance with Hans von Marées. His beloved Nanna left him and went with an Englishman to southern Italy. Feuerbach spent the summer of 1866 again in Anzio to study the background of Munich Medea. He met Lucia Brunacci, who became like Nanna his model and his mistress. In October he went to Berlin. Feuerbach believed that by the victory of Prussia over Austria in the German war the cultural center of Germany would be formed there. He received a commission for the Medea and Ricordo di Tivoli.
In 1867 Feuerbach finally found a large studio in Via S. Nicola da Tolentino in Rome. At the end of March he traveled to Baden-Baden. He now had closer contact with Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. In October he returned to Rome, where Feuerbach and Marées met with Conrad Fiedler. The relationship with Fiedler quickly cooled down, because he supported the destitute Marées. In December 1868 the relationship with Schack was broken off.
In 1869 Feuerbach completed the first version of the banquet, which he exhibited at the Great International Art Exhibition in Munich. There the picture was acquired by the painter Marie Röhr. The Karlsruhe Kunstverein was working on an exhibition of the banquet. The possibility of a call to Karlsruhe also stood in the room, but Feuerbach reacted in a negative way. Nevertheless the Medea was exhibited in Karlsruhe in 1870. The court in Karlsruhe was interested in Feuerbach, but the latter, by means of surpassed demands, raised the intention of the Grand Duke to draw him to Karlsruhe. In July of this year he was in Berlin. By the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he was only able to return to Rome in September. In autumn he finished the Paris judgment with the help of Ferdinand Keller, who was sent to the Berlin Autumn Exhibition.
In 1871, Feuerbach began work on the second version of the Amazons’ Battle and on the second version of the banquet. In 1872 he traveled to Heidelberg and from there to Vienna, where he met Rudolf Eitelberger for the first time, and for a professorship at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. The professor was appointed on 7 August. Feuerbach finished his Amazonsschlacht and went to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in June 1873. In the year 1873 also the death of the sister Emilie fell. Feuerbach was not represented with pictures on the crowded Viennese world exhibition and swayed in the face of the successes of Hans Makart between admiration and envy. In 1874 he exhibited The Amazons’ Battle and the second version of the banquet at the Künstlerhaus in Vienna. The critics reacted negatively.
Feuerbach commuted between Vienna and Rome in 1875 and was exhorted by the Ministry for non-submitted leave. From October he was back in Vienna. He began with the work on the titanic fall for the ceiling of the auditorium of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He worked intensively on this work from 1878 onwards; He did not realize it in Rome until 1880, owing to disagreements with the architect Theophil Hansen; At the Munich exhibition in 1879, however, the tide of the Titans was met with severe criticism.
In March, 1876, Feuerbach fell ill with a pneumonia. With a high fever, he went to Heidelberg for the pious mother. A large part of his life-memories arose as a pamphlet, as a settlement with his contemporaries, a. Also about Makartism – Pathological Appearance of the Modern Age. In June Feuerbach filed his discharge request in Vienna. In July Henriette Feuerbach moved to Nuremberg; Until 1879, Feuerbach commuted between Nuremberg and Venice.
In the last years of his life, Feuerbach, who had occasionally played with the idea of going to London as a portrait painter, produced a painting for the Justice Palace in Nuremberg, the homage of Ludwig of Bavaria. Feuerbach was buried in Nuremberg on the St. Johannisfriedhof. In April 1880, a large memorial exhibition of his estate took place in the Berlin National Gallery.