MENZEL, Adolph von
(b. 1815, Breslau, d. 1905, Berlin)

Storm on Tempelhof Mountain

Oil on paper on board, 31 x 47 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

Adolf Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel, German painter, engraver, and illustrator was one of the most prominent German painters in the Realism movement. He became successful in Berlin in the second half of the 19th century. Noted for numerous paintings and illustrations relating to events in Prussia's recent history, he was a chronicler of the life of Frederick the Great (reigned 1740-1786). He is known for portraits, industrial scenes, intimate studies of interiors, and local religious events.

Menzel's Storm on Tempelhof Mountain was painted only six years after the death of Caspar David Friedrich. This small-format picture is an example of a completely different conception of the role of landscape painting. Menzel's art is significant for its break with the German tradition of landscape painting. With Blechen, Menzel was a pioneer of realistic landscape with no symbolic content or didactic purpose, of which the composition and colour adhere strictly to nature.