of S. Isidoro in Rome in 1810, living communally and earning themselves the nickname 'Nazarenes' from their long hair and the eccentric semi-biblical vesture they chose to adopt. Prominent amongst the founders were Franz Pforr (1788-1812) and Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789-1869). They were later joined by Peter Cornelius (1783-1867), Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872, who remained a Protestant), Friedrich Olivier (1791-1859), Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow (1788-1862) and Philipp Veit (1793-1877). The early paintings produced by the group were stiffly 'medieval' in character and indicated a rejection of both academic perspective and neo-Classical line. Overbeck's Entry of Christ into Jerusalem (1810-24), Cornelius's Holy Family (1809-11) and Pforr's Count Rudolf of Hapsburg and the priest (1809) are representative. Later explicitly religious works produced in the Rome years include Schadow's Via crucis (1817) and The Holy Family under a portico (c. 1818) and Schnorr's tender Annunciation of 1820. The group's most significant commission came from the Prussian consul in Rome, Salomon Bartholdi, to decorate rooms in his palazzo in the Via Sistina with frescos showing the story of Joseph (the paintings were transferred to Berlin in 1887). The most striking of these are Overbeck's Joseph sold by his brethren of 1816-17 and Cornelius's The reconciliation of Joseph and his brethren and Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream (both 1817). A further commission to decorate the Casino Massimo in Rome with scenes from Dante, Tasso and Ariosto (executed 1818-28) saw the gradual dispersal of the Nazarenes as a community. Most returned to Germany. Schnorr and Cornelius settled in Munich and in 1834 Philipp Veit was appointed director of the Art Institute in Frankfurt where he encouraged what he styled 'New German Religious Art'. His most important painting of these years, Christianity introducing the fine arts to Germany, remains in Frankfurt. Overbeck, however, kept his base in Rome, beginning work there in 1831 on the picture he considered to be his supreme assertion of faith, The triumph of religion in the arts. In his last years he produced drawings for a proposed series of monumental tapestries for Pius IX showing the seven sacraments, which survive in the Vatican Pinacoteca.

The greatest German painter ofthe early nineteenth century, Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1843), was a Protestant Romantic who offered an expression of his faith through paintings of landscapes permeated by divine light and charged by the presence of overtly Christian symbolism. The scanty remains of the abbey of Eldena, in the suburbs of his native Greifswald, probably inspired the Gothic ruins that appear in his paintings. The pinnacled, mist-swathed churches which loom over such paintings as The cathedral (1818), The cross in the mountains (1811-12) and Winter landscape with church (1811) equally

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment