Who was Friedrich von Amerling?
Friedrich von Amerling was a painter of exceptional forte, widely spatted for his sentimental, simple and pious view of the world in a realistic way in his portrait paintings. One of the biggest exponents of Biedermeier Painting Movement, this 19th century painter contributed humongously to the development of this influential painting style. Born into nobility, this blue-blooded artist exhibited outstanding skills so far his clarity of contour and rich coloration was concerned. In that way, his painting style, to a certain extent, was inspired by that of Ingres. In other words, he was the most outstanding Austrian portrait painters of the 19th century. Apart from being a portrait painter, he also showed great skill in painting historic, genre, and landscape paintings. Amerling, besides being a painter, was also a teacher who taught Hungarian painter József Borsos. He mainly worked for aristocracy. He is still remembered as a legendary painter of the 19th century. Read the biography of Friedrich von Amerling to know about his life in detail.
Friedrich von Amerling’s Early Life And Education
Friedrich von Amerling was born on 14 April 1803 in Vienna. He was the son of Franz Amerling and Theresia Kargl. His father was gold and silversmith. From 1815 to 1824, he studied at the Academy of the Arts in Vienna. Later on, he went to Prague and studied at the academy until 1826. From 1827 to1828, he lived in London where he came under the influence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, the portrait painter. Afterwards, he went to Paris and there he studied with Horace Vernet before he moved to Rome.
When Amerling was in Rome, he was asked to come to Vienna on an official assignment to paint a life-size portrait of the emperor Francis I of Austria. After 1828, he served the Austrian court, the aristocrat and the middle class. After working on this, he became the most desirable and popular portrait painter in Vienna and he held on to the position of Austrian court painter for around 15 years. A great deal of his time was spent in travelling; he went to Italy in 1836 and 1838, then in the same year, he went to Netherlands. In 1839, he travelled to Munich, 1840-43 in Rome, 1882 in Spain, 1883 in England, 1884 in Greece, 1885 in Skandinavia towards Norway's North Cape and then in 1886 to Egypt and Palestine.
Friedrich von Amerling created around 1000 works, most of them being portraits. In 2003, his work was exhibited in Vienna.
Friedrich von Amerling got married four times during his lifetime. In 1832, he tied the knot with Antonie Kaltenthaler to whom he was married until her death in 1843. In 1844, he married Katharina Heissler, but the marriage did not go for a long time and ended up in divorce in 1845. In 1857, he walked down the aisle with Emilie Heinrich and remained with her till 1880, the time when she died. Finally, he got hitched to Maria Nemetschke in 1881 and their marriage went on until Friedrich’s death.
Awards And Achievements
Friedrich von Amerling received various awards including the Reichel Prize of the Academy in Vienna (1829). Being the most admired artist of Vienna, he was given several significant men of letters and musicians (such as Franz Liszt) at home. In 1858, he got the Gumpendorf Castle in Vienna. In 1878, he was honored with dignity and was entitled Friedrich Ritter von Amerling (Friedrich, knight of Amerling). He was honored with the Orden der Eisernen Krone in 1879.
Friedrich died on 14 January 1887 in Vienna. He was buried in the Viennese Central Cemetery and honored with a memorial made by Johannes Benk.
On 60th death anniversary of Friedrich in 1948, the Austrian Post Office issued an extraordinary stamp. Later on, in 2008, on 3 March, this Post Office issued another Amerling stamp. This stamp was one of a sequence memorializing the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna and featured Princess Marie Franziska of Liechtenstein.