This is an interesting and charming little painting by Adolph von Menzel and a somewhat unusual subject matter for Menzel. It caught my attention for those reasons but even more so when I saw its title, Blinde Kuh (Blind Cow). Blinde Kuh is a game, like Blind Man's Bluff, but it’s also a common German… Continue reading A girl smitten with the regal armored knight
This regal portrait of a man who lived 1200 years ago was painted in 1512 by Albrecht Dürer...it is a representation of what he thought his subject, Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne), may have looked like at age 58 in the year 800. It was known that Karl was slim and very tall...6' 0" versus 5'… Continue reading Karl der Grosse, Charlemagne, was crowned on 25 December 800…All future German Holy Roman Emperors and all French Kings considered themselves to be descendants of his Empire.
"Dinner at the Ball" captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire. It was 7 years after the German unification of 1871 and was the era of Kaiser Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Bismarck, who created a booming economy and a foreign policy that produced 43… Continue reading Most of Menzel’s paintings were quickly gathered up by museums and patrons in Germany
Try to imagine what it was like to be 6 years old and declared King of the Germans, a powerful medieval nation. This actually happened in 1056 in Aachen Cathedral, when Heinrich IV was crowned King of the Romans, the medieval official title for King of the Germans. If you think a 6 year old… Continue reading Six year old Heinrich was declared King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor in 1056, kidnapped at age 12 and regained control at age 16…and the drama was just beginning
The 1904 unveiling of the Wagner Memorial in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park was a major social event, interestingly thanks to the opera singer Ludwig Leichner, who donated the Memorial to the city of Berlin. The event was memorialized in a painting by the famous artist, Anton von Werner. He was commissioned to capture the unveiling ceremony,… Continue reading An opera singer donated the Wagner Memorial to the city of Berlin in 1904
This finely detailed painting by Adolph von Menzel depicts the 1861 Coronation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle. Only a short 10 years later, this King of Prussia will successfully re-unite most of the states of the former German Holy Roman Empire... an Empire that lasted a thousand… Continue reading Pomp and ceremony in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle
This image dates back to 1811 and is entitled “Winterlandschaft” (Winter Landscape), by Romantic Era painter Caspar David Friedrich. The painting contains details that are hard to see unless you are looking at the actual print or click on it to see a large version. In the foreground a crippled man has abandoned his crutches… Continue reading “Winterlandschaft” (Winter Landscape), by Romantic Era painter Caspar David Friedrich.
This is a scene of a long gone winter, observed from the top of a hill in Meissen, Germany. The painting seems to pull you into a past that you never knew, yet it feels as though you are there, on top of the hill. Painted in 1859, it depicts a snowy early evening scene… Continue reading A long gone winter, observed from the top of a hill in Meissen, Germany
A beautiful blustery winter scene, by Ernst Oehme "Cathedral in Winter,1821"...please click on the picture and look forward through the massive arches... you can see an imposing church structure, given scale by how small the monks appear as they walk toward the warm glow of the windows and doorway. Blowing snow slightly obscures the view,… Continue reading By Ernst Oehme “Cathedral in Winter,1821”
An excerpt from "Departure of King Wilhelm I. of Prussia to join the Army on July 13, 1870" at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, by Adolph von Menzel. The King would return to Berlin 11 months later, in June 1871, not only victorious but also as the new Kaiser of the German Empire, already… Continue reading Departure of King Wilhelm I. of Prussia to join the Army on July 13, 1870