Friedrich Overbeck Biography
Friedrich Overbeck was one of the founders of the Lukasbund (The Brotherhood of St. Luke), from which the Nazarenes were later to emerge. Stemming from a prominent Lubeck family, he studied in 1806 at the Vienna Academy where, in 1809, a group of young artists formed a group that included Franz Pforr as well as Overbeck. Influenced by Wackenroder's, Tieck's and Schlegel's written work they put together a romantic agenda aimed against the Academy's classical dogma, breaking for the first time from official art objectives. In 1810 Overbeck and Pforr went to Rome with a few friends settling at the former San Isidoro cloister, where they followed their ideals and lived quasi as monks in seclusion. Other artists, including Peter Cornelius and Wilhelm Schadow, soon joined them. Their motivation, to once again relate art to the church and state and their own budding interest in the effect of art on the public, made the artists of this circle a good match for King Ludwig I and his recruitment; the king summoned the leading Nazarenes, including Cornelius and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, to Munich in order to work on his art program. Overbeck, however, was one of the few Nazarenes who turned down this offer and remained in Rome for the rest of his life.