(b. 1788, Mainburg, d. 1860, London)
Bavarian miniature painter who settled in England in 1816. At the age of sixteen he went to Munich to study art. He studied painting and lithography under Professor Hauber. A talented artist, he soon found work producing lithographs for printers in Munich.
In 1810 Scharf left Munich and began travelling through France and Holland. He caught up in the Allied siege of Antwerp in January, 1814. He managed to escape and then enlisted in the English Army where he was employed to draw maps, sketches of fortifications and diagrams of troop movements. After seeing action at the Battle of Waterloo, he returned to Paris.
In 1816, Scharf decided to emigrate to England. At first he concentrated on political prints and cartoons. Later he began working with German lithograph publishers who had settled in England. This involved the production of a large number of prints and paintings of London. These were mainly street scenes and incidents of ordinary London life. Scharf was especially interested in men at work.
In the 1840s Scharf tended to concentrate on scientific work. His main clients were doctors, naturalists and the Royal College of Surgeons. Scharf's health began to deteriorate in the early 1850s. Unable to work, his last years were dominated by money problems.