(b. 1783, Düsseldorf, d. 1867, Berlin)

The Wise and the Foolish Virgins

c. 1813
Oil on canvas, 114 x 153 cm
Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf

In autumn 1811 Cornelius travelled to Rome, where he immediately joined the circle of the Nazarenes (Lukasbrüder) around Friedrich Overbeck and Franz Pforr. In their attitude to art Cornelius found confirmation and extension of his own views. Like them, he was convinced that it was necessary to revive in Germany a truly national and religious art. He shared their aversion to academy-taught classicism and saw the work of Raphael as a guide. The influence of Raphael's work was decisive in his efforts to revitalize religious art and can be seen in the most important religious pictures of his Roman period: The Wise and the Foolish Virgins (c. 1813, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf) and the Entombment (1819; Copenhagen, Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen), which was based on Raphael's treatment of the subject (Galleria Borghese, Rome).

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.