NERLY, Friedrich
(b. 1807, Erfurt, d. 1878, Venezia)


Christian Friedrich Nerly (also Federico Nerlich), German painter. Born in Erfurt, he was raised by relatives in Hamburg, following the death of his father. In the artistic milieu of Hamburg, Nerly soon became the protégé of the artist, writer and patron Baron Carl Friedrich von Rumohr (1785-1843), who encouraged the young artist's talent for observing nature. In 1827, patron and pupil undertook extensive travels throughout Germany, and during a visit to Weimar, Nerly made the acquaintance of Goethe.

The following year saw Nerly's first trip to Italy, where he was to spend six years in Rome, working within a well-established community of German artists. Nerly's landscape studies of Rome and the surrounding areas, as well as of Naples and Southern Italy, were much admired by his peers, and rate among the best of German realistic landscape art of the period.

Nerly settled in Venice in 1835 and soon Italianised his name. He set up a studio, and soon gained a reputation as one of the finest vedute painters of the age, producing numerous views of the city, which were in high demand among educated travellers. He frequently produced multiple versions of compositions, including thirty-six views of the Piazzetta.

Following his death in 1878, the remains of Nerly's artistic estate were gifted to the city of his birth, where it is now housed by the Angermuseum.

His son Friedrich Nerly the Younger was a landscape painter, born in Venice and active in Italy.

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