Reproductions Blechen, Karl

Karl Blechen

1798 - 1840

German landscape painter

Karl Blechen Biography

Carl Blechen, born in Cottbus, arrived in Berlin at the age of 16 where he, at the request of his father, completed his commercial studies and then worked for several years in banking. His creative talent became increasingly apparent, prompting him to give up his learned trade and to begin his studies in 1822 at the Art Academy in Berlin. During a visit to Dresden in 1823 he became acquainted with the works of Johan Christian Dahl and Caspar David Friedrich, which deeply impressed him. In Berlin Karl Friedrich Schinkel recognized Blechen's exceptional talent as a painter and obtained for him a position as stage painter to the royal theater - a task he was well suited to, owing to a strong predisposition for the mysterious, enigmatic and fantastic.
During 1829/1830 Blechen traveled throughout Italy. With the impressions he gathered from the towns and various landscapes he began painting in a style distinguished by its relaxed, flowing painterly execution. The liberal brushstroke that Blechen used allowed for an amalgamation of individual pictorial elements: landscape, architecture and staffage merge into a symbiotic whole. Owing to progressive bouts of depression, Blechen was soon unable to work and was placed in a psychiatric hospital, where he died in mental derangement. His work was enthusiastically received by his contemporaries, but was also, owing to its disregard for classical landscape painting ideals, cause for controversy