Ferdinand Olivier

1785 - 1841

German Neoclassicism Painter

Ferdinand Olivier Biography

Born on April 1, 1785 in Dessau and died on February 11, 1841 in Munich. Ferdinand, the brother of the painters Heinrich and Friedrich Olivier, received his first training in Dessau, Berlin and Dresden where he soon came in contact with Caspar David Fridrich and Philipp Otto Runge. Between 1807 and 1810 he took up diplomatic work in Paris. In 1811 he relocated to Vienna where he met Joseph Anton Koch. During a trip to Salzburg with Philipp Veit in 1815 and again in 1817 with Carl Ludwig Frommel and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, he discovered the countryside surrounding the city. In Vienna he maintained close contact with the Austrian Nazarene artists; in 1816 he became a member of the Brotherhood of St. Luke in Rome. Starting 1830 Olivier lived in Munich where he became secretary-general of the Akademie der Kunste (Art Academy), which was followed by a post as professor for art history. Olivier, who personally never visited Rome, is nevertheless one of the most important Nazarenes, having devoted himself to spiritually inspired works executed in the style of the German Renaissance masters. After relocating to Munich he painted in the idealized landscape manner of Dughet and Poussin.