(b. 1797, Handschuhsheim, d. 1850, München)

Corinth with Akrocorinth

Stone, 162 x 206 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Rottmann came from a family of artists, which brought him into contact with other Heidelberg painters early on. In 1821, he began courses in history painting at the Munich Academy, and went on excursions in the Bavarian mountains to do nature studies. Sojourns in Italy in 1826-1828, and again in 1829, introduced him to the Roman manner of open-air painting. A key event for his development was his meeting the Bavarian crown prince, the future King Ludwig I, who lived in Rome. Ludwig commissioned Rottmann to paint the Italian Cycle in the Munich Hofgarten Arcades (1830-1833), a series of frescoes depicting Italian landscapes, which would remain a favourite subject.

Another major work was the Greek Cycle, based on studies made during a visit to Greece in 1834-1835 and destined for the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. These were done in encaustic (a technique employing heated wax colours that fused after application), and Rottmann worked on them until his death. In these landscapes, the architectonic structure of rigorous, classical composition is combined with a dramatic treatment of colour, expressed through light and other natural phenomena.

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