Adolph von Menzel

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Adolph von Menzel (1900)

Adolph Friedrich Erdmann Menzel , von Menzel from 1898 (* December 8, 1815 in Breslau , † February 9, 1905 in Berlin ), was a German painter, draftsman and illustrator. He is considered the most important German realist of the 19th century. His work is extraordinarily diverse; He was known and highly honored during his lifetime mainly for his historicizing depictions of the life of Frederick the Great .



Self-portrait , around 1835

Adolph Menzel was born in Breslau, where his father Carl Erdmann Menzel ran a lithographic printing company. His artistic talent showed up early on.

In 1830 the family moved to Berlin, the up-and-coming capital of Prussia , either because the father was hoping for better business opportunities there, or because they wanted to give the son an academic education. But just two years later, the father died, and the 16-year-old Adolph Menzel was faced with the task of providing for the family (mother and two younger siblings). He continued his father's business and his typical characteristics were already evident: a sense of duty, diligence and self-discipline. In 1833 he also attended the Berlin Academy of the Arts for half a year , but disappointedly gave up this attempt and continued his self-taught education from then on. Louis Friedrich Sachse was one of the first publishers of Adolph von Menzel and made a significant contribution to the further development of the young artist.

In 1839 Menzel was commissioned by Franz Theodor Kugler to illustrate a multi-volume story of Frederick the Great . By 1842 he had made around 4,000 pen line drawings . This work brought the decisive turning point in Menzel's career. She made him known to the general public and provided him with important contacts (including the Prussian royal court) and other commissions.

Photography as a business card (after 1890)

In the following years he illustrated two other works from the Friedrich themed circle. His paintings, which initially often dealt with historical subjects and later increasingly with contemporary subjects, became increasingly popular. In 1856 his picture Friedrich and his family was exhibited in the Battle of Hochkirch in the Academy of the Arts, and in 1867 at the Paris World Exhibition . The picture of Friedrich II's encounter with Emperor Joseph II in Neisse in 1769 , which Menzel had chosen himself as the subject, was painted for a private art association in 1857 and received a divided reception for aesthetic and political reasons. On behalf of King Wilhelm I , Menzel created the monumental image of his self-coronation in Königsberg between 1862 and 1865 . From then on, Menzel was invited to court festivities. The representation of the bourgeoisie and the upper classes became one of his subjects from now on.

In 1873, Menzel's round table of Frederick the Great was purchased by the Prussian state for the planned National Gallery in Berlin . The gallery later acquired further paintings and drawings by Menzel. A Menzel exhibition was held in Paris in 1885; in Berlin his 70th birthday was celebrated with a large exhibition and many awards.

Menzel in his studio (1898)
Menzel's grave in Berlin-Kreuzberg

The growing fame went hand in hand with a social rise and numerous public honors. In 1853 Menzel was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, and in 1856 a professor, but never taught. In 1895 he was accepted as a foreign member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts . Wilhelm II awarded Menzel the title Real Privy Councilor in 1895 with the title of excellence and in 1898 the Order of the Black Eagle , which was associated with the personal nobility. Menzel was increasingly skeptical of these honors and liked to refer to his medals as "all of the Kladderadatsch ".

The Cologne chocolate producer Ludwig Stollwerck purchased a sketchbook with drawings by soldiers of the Prussian army from Menzel in 1900 for 120,000 marks as templates for Stollwerck collecting pictures and postcards . Ludwig Stollwerck gave the sketchbook to the imperial family after his appointment to the council of commerce.

Adolph Menzel died on February 9, 1905. He had seen his end coming. On New Year's Day 1905 he sent the greeting to Kaiser Wilhelm II: “The last hour is just around the corner! Heaven protect your majesty and your whole house and our German fatherland! ”Wilhelm, who saw Menzel as a glorifier of Prussia and therefore admired him very much, arranged a state funeral and followed the coffin with his family. Adolph Menzel found his final resting place in the Dreifaltigkeitskirchhof II , in the field OM, G1. The honorary grave of the State of Berlin is adorned with a bronze bust based on the model made by Reinhold Begas in 1875 . A little later, a memorial exhibition took place in the National Gallery, in which the public saw Menzel's painting The Balcony Room for the first time . The gallery acquired Menzel's estate.

Private life

Menzel's sister Emilie asleep , oil on paper, around 1848 ( Hamburger Kunsthalle )

In 1850 Menzel was accepted into the literary association Tunnel over the Spree , to which Theodor Fontane , Paul Heyse , Franz Theodor Kugler and Theodor Storm belonged. Here the artist, described as withdrawn, who had only a few close friends, found an opportunity to exchange ideas. Menzel's lonely nature was certainly related to his short stature, because of which he was also dubbed “the little excellence”. He was only 1.40 meters tall and was declared unfit for the military because of "gnomes". Menzel was never married and nothing is known about relationships with women. He found emotional closeness in his family. He lived with his mother and siblings, later, after the death of his mother, the early death of his brother and the marriage of his sister, in an apartment neighborhood with their family. Together they carried out several moves and also went to the summer resort together. Menzel was very close to his relatives and also supported them financially on various occasions.

Travel brought variety to Menzel's rather uneventful life; however, they again often took him to familiar areas. Since 1850 Menzel has been going on a long summer trip every year. Frequent destinations were Dresden and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains , southern Germany and Austria. Menzel was in Paris three times: in 1855 and 1867 for the world exhibition, where works by Menzel were shown, and in 1868 (exhibition of three of his pictures in the salon); he was three times in northern Italy.

In 1866 he traveled to the sites of the Austro-Prussian War in Bohemia. According to his own admission, his motives were a sense of duty (if he was already unable to participate as a soldier) as well as curiosity, the "thirst to know this and that, when it couldn't be the fresh battlefield" (to Hermann Krigar , July 24, 1866) . Menzel had often depicted war and death in connection with his Friedrich illustrations, but without actually having seen them. Now he drew wounded, dying and dead soldiers, and the new experience seems to have shaken him, as can be seen from these sheets. After that Menzel did not paint any more war themes.

Menzel and Berlin

Berlin memorial plaque on Menzel's house at Ritterstrasse 43 in Kreuzberg

Adolph Menzel's career is closely linked to the simultaneous rise of his chosen hometown. While Menzel lived there, the capital of the Prussian state became the capital of the German Empire, the center of politics, finance and industry. While Berlin had 170,000 inhabitants in 1800, the two million mark was exceeded in 1905, the year Menzel died. The up-and-coming, rapidly changing city supplied Menzel with a wealthy clientele, but also with diverse motives. For example, he often drew and painted the numerous construction sites in Berlin. Berlin locations can be recognized in many of his pictures, and especially in later years he made the Berlin bourgeoisie a subject of his work. Menzel was not only a painter, but also had a professorship in the Kgl. Academy of Arts . He moved several times in Berlin, for example he lived at Potsdamer Strasse 7 in 1874, and his activity was listed as “history painter; Professor and full member of the Kgl. Academy of Arts ”. In 1890 Menzel can be found at Sigismundstrasse 3 in Berlin W and his position was given as “Dr., Geschichts-Maler, Prof. u. Senator d. Kgl. Academie der Künste, Chancellor of the Pour le Mérite Order ; Honorary Citizen of Wroclaw ”. In 1895, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, Menzel became an honorary citizen of Berlin .


Painter of Prussia

Through his work on the illustrations for the history of Frederick the Great , Adolph Menzel had developed into a Friedrich expert. He certainly felt a personal bond with the king: both were familiar with the feeling of isolation in their surroundings. In addition, there was the fact that both lived in an almost entirely male world and the beloved sister was the most important caregiver for both of them. Menzel himself wrote in 1840 in a letter to his friend C. H. Arnold about his Friedrich pictures: “[...] I was not touched by something soon. The material is so rich, so interesting, so great, [...] so picturesque that I just want to be so lucky to be able to paint a cycle of great historical pictures from this time. ”From 1849 Menzel painted a series of images from the Life of Frederick the Great, including such well-known paintings as Frederick the Great's flute concert in Sanssouci , King Frederick II's round table in Sansscouci and Frederick and his family near Hochkirch .

King Frederick II. Round Table in Sanssouci , 1850 (loss of war):
King Frederick II (center) in Sanssouci in the circle of Voltaire , Casanovas a . a. m.

Menzel tried in such paintings, but also in his wood engravings on the history of Frederick the Great, to bring the viewer as close as possible to the reality of life of the Prussian king, but avoided idealizing heroism. He conducted detailed historical studies in libraries and archives and meticulously adhered to the written and pictorial traditions from Friedrich's time in order to give his illustrations authenticity. However, Menzel also idealized the Prussian king in his depictions. Even Friedrich's “individual psychological problems” were taken into account in the illustrations. In contrast to Kugler, in Werner Busch's opinion, Menzel seems to have understood the homosexuality of the Prussian king, which may have been due to the artist's aversion to women: “The few female nudes he has drawn express reluctance [... ]. In his few boys' files one [...] wanted to see an unconscious homoerotic dimension. "

Menzel depicts the Prussian king "not at all in the early modern tradition of ruler's apotheosis. Rather, he humanizes and relativizes him". He prefers scenes in which Friedrich appears as a private person ( round table, flute concert ) or as a popular, benevolent king ( Die Bittschrift , Friedrich der Große auf Reisen ). Of the two depictions from the Seven Years' War , one ( Friedrich and his family at Hochkirch ) shows a battle that ended in a Prussian defeat, the other, Frederick the Great's address to his generals before the battle of Leuthen , the tense situation before one seemingly hopeless battle (which was then won). Menzel consistently avoided any impression of pathos or mere solemnity in his Friedrich pictures. In the flute concerto you can see a listener on the left who looks bored at the ceiling. The round table is by no means ruled by the king; rather, several gentlemen in the foreground are deep in private conversations.

Because of their lack of a sense of the heroic and majestic, the pictures initially met with little approval from conservative art critics and also from the royal family, who Menzel had certainly counted on as a buyer. That changed when, with growing nationalism and the founding of the empire, the paintings were increasingly interpreted under nationalistic aspects, until Wilhelm II was finally able to speak of Menzel as "the glorious herald of Frederick the Great and his army". But that was not the intention; rather, the painter wanted to provide with his pictures an example of an enlightened rulership with the king as "first servant of the state". Also, in his heart Menzel was by no means (especially not in his later years) the Prussian patriot that his admirers believed him to be. This is shown by his statements on the revolution of 1848 as well as the fact that he repeatedly defied the instructions of his king or emperor.

Coronation of King Wilhelm I in Königsberg , 1865 ( Alte Nationalgalerie , Berlin)

Although the Friedrich pictures only make up a very small part of Menzel's oeuvre, they were and are disproportionately present in the public consciousness and have earned him the reputation of a “state artist”. In fact, he did not paint a picture on behalf of the state. The representative painting of the coronation of King Wilhelm I in Königsberg in 1861 (345 × 445 cm) was created on the personal commission of the king, who, as a constitutional monarch , wanted to assert his divine right . The coronation was not provided for in the constitution and was therefore not financed from the state treasury, but from the Royal Crown Fideikommiss . The circumstances surrounding the order are unclear. Without being particularly inclined to Menzel, Wilhelm only gave him the irrefutable order a few days before the event, although the date had been known for over four months. In the composition idea, Menzel complied with the king's wish, but the pathos of Wilhelm's attitude, the use of light, as well as Otto von Bismarck's addition, were due to him and were recognized by Wilhelm. Menzel ended his occupation with history painting in 1871 with the picture of Wilhelm I's departure for the army on July 31, 1870 .

Painter of modern life

The ball souper , 1878 ( Old National Gallery )

Contemporary topics occupy a large space in Adolph Menzel's work. He painted the people among whom he moved, that is, members of the bourgeoisie and, from 1861, the upper class. In doing so he reproduced what he saw. In turning away from this objectifying mode of representation, certain caricature-like features can be seen in his pictures of better society. For example at the famous ball souper (a celebratory event at the imperial court is shown): The officer in the foreground tries with little success to handle a knife and fork while standing while holding a plate, glass and hat at the same time.

On the other hand, Menzel's depictions of craftsmen and workers are completely free of irony. They express the respect that the painter felt for serious, well-done work of any kind. The iron rolling mill (1872–1875) belongs to this category . The picture is a commissioned work, but Menzel had chosen the motif himself. With the dimensions 158 × 254 cm, the oil painting is considered the first large industrial representation in Germany. To prepare the picture, Menzel had traveled to Königshütte in Silesia , which was then - after the Ruhr area - the most modern industrial region in Germany. In a rolling mill there, he made around a hundred detailed drawings that served as the basis for the later painting.

The production of railroad tracks is shown. Menzel not only shows the production process itself. In the front right, workers are consuming the food brought by a young woman (the only woman in the whole picture). It is also the only one facing the viewer. On the left you can see workers washing each other, and in the left background the engineer or plant manager (with a round hat) who monitors the workers and the production process.

The iron rolling mill , 1872–1875 ( Old National Gallery )

Soon after its completion, the picture was given the nickname Modern Cyclops ( in Greek legend, cyclops are the assistants of the blacksmith god who forge lightning bolts and the weapons of the gods inside the volcanoes). Apparently, a mythological exaggeration was considered necessary to make the new topic palatable to the audience. Contemporaries understood the painting, in accordance with the epoch's belief in progress, as a symbol of the unlimited possibilities of modern technology. Later it was often interpreted as an indictment of the wretched situation of the working class. This is countered by the fact that Menzel's workers appear as self-confident individuals who are proud of their skills and the value of their work. At the time the picture was taken, social thought was still in its infancy (the General German Workers' Association , a forerunner of the SPD, was founded in 1863 , and social insurance was to be introduced in 1883 ). It is unlikely that Menzel secretly sympathized with the ideas of the emerging labor movement. He painted what he saw, and in this case those were the tough working conditions in industry. It remains to be seen whether he was even pursuing an extra-painting goal with the iron rolling mill . Perhaps he was simply attracted by the exact representation of the complicated technical processes and the unusual lighting effects. Peter Weiss' work gives a political interpretation in his novel essay The Aesthetics of Resistance .

Menzel's realism

In the beer garden , 1883

Menzel's work is assigned the style of realism . By this - in contrast to transfiguring idealism - a painting is understood that depicts the reality found. For Menzel, the realistic representation of even the smallest details was an important concern. In addition, the work of his more mature years shows a number of characteristic style features.

Building site with willows , 1846
( Alte Nationalgalerie , Berlin)

Perhaps Menzel's striving for the greatest possible fidelity to reality was one of the reasons for the abundance of detail that characterizes many of his later pictures in particular: the Parisian weekday (1869), Piazza d'Erbe in Verona (1882–1884), the fountain promenade in Kissingen (1890), the confectionery's breakfast buffet in Kissingen (1893). However, in these pictures the confusing multitude of people and details do not combine into a harmonious whole; each element remains autonomous, which creates the impression of the chaotic as well as that of isolation and the dynamism striving in various directions. The pictures also have no center that could capture the viewer's gaze and attention. In the opinion of the art historian Forster-Hahn, this style of painting shows the "impossibility of grasping the world as a harmonious unit" (Forster-Hahn 1980). The impression of isolation is reinforced by the fact that the people in these pictures are mostly not only in no compositional relationship, but also in no action relationship: They look past each other, there is no conversation, everyone is busy with their own things.

In addition, Adolph Menzel liked to choose image sections that seem random and thus remind of a photographer's snapshots, but are in reality carefully arranged. In these pictures, objects and people are sometimes almost forcibly cut off from the edges of the picture. One example is the fountain promenade in Kissingen : the painting shows a hand in the foreground holding a dog pulling on a leash; the arm that goes with it and the rest of the person have fallen victim to the edge of the picture.

Menzel's pre-impressionism

The Berlin-Potsdamer Bahn , 1847
( Alte Nationalgalerie , Berlin)

In the 1840s and 1850s, i.e. in a relatively early phase of his work, Menzel painted a series of pictures that seem to anticipate the characteristics of Impressionism by decades (for example, the renunciation of an action, the colored depiction of light and the impression of the momentary, Fugitives). These include The Balcony Room (1845), one of his most famous paintings, as well as the artist's bedroom in Ritterstrasse (1847) and Waldesnacht (1851). Adolph Menzel apparently viewed these pictures as private, unofficial works and only exhibited them very late for the first time; some of them only became known to the public after his death. The early work, often referred to as “pre-impressionistic”, which fell completely outside the scope of what Menzel was used to, was enthusiastically received by the audience.

Incidentally, Adolph Menzel did not pursue the path he had taken in his youth. He hardly noticed the impressionism that developed in France from the 1870s; He once described the Impressionists as "lazy artists".

Menzel as a draftsman

Slurry tank on a wagon , drawing, 1884

Menzel left around 6,000 drawings, plus 77 sketchbooks and notebooks. This enormous amount can be explained on the one hand by the usual procedure at the time of preparing each painting with a large number of drawings; For example, Menzel created more than a hundred drawings for the iron rolling mill . On the other hand, however, contemporaries describe Menzel as a manic draftsman: "No object was too small for him, and he drew where he went and stood with a downright pathological zeal." (Paul Meyerheim 1906). This passion gave rise to a number of anecdotes.

Newspaper reader , 1891

Drawing accompanied Menzel all his life. One of his first testimonies is his father's drawn hand. After 1875 the number of his paintings decreased significantly, and in old age he only drew. At first Menzel liked to draw with a sharp pencil, but also with pastel chalk and developed into a master of gouache and watercolored drawing. Later he preferred the broad carpenter's pencil , which he only used in old age. He increasingly tended to blur the lines, so that the drawings of his last years give a blurry, unreal impression.

Menzel's drawings are admired for the powers of observation they express and for the artist's ability to grasp the essence of things and people with the simplest of means. Inanimate objects often seem to magically take on a life of their own in these drawings ( armory fantasies , Norwegian fat oysters ). Since Menzel took more freedom in his drawings than in his paintings, characteristic elements of his work often emerge particularly strongly there, such as the choice of seemingly arbitrary image sections and the interest in disorder and decay. In some drawings in his later years, Menzel approaches abstraction ( Kurhausstraße in Kissingen after a thunderstorm , narrow view between two houses ).

Works (selection)



Frontispiece in the Golden Book of the City of Bad Kissingen painted by the "non-spa guest" Adolph Menzel on August 5, 1889
  • Unmade bed , around 1845, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin
  • Menzel's brother Richard , 1848, Dr. Peter Nathan and Barbara Nathan, Zurich
  • Portrait sketches of 132 people for the coronation picture , 1863–1864
  • Armory Fantasies , approx. 20 sheets with armor and medieval weapons, 1866
  • around 100 sketches for the iron rolling mill , 1872–1874
  • Corpse portraits , 1873
  • Evening party with Frau von Schleinitz , 1875
  • Kurhausstrasse in Kissingen after a thunderstorm , 1889, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin
  • The army of Frederick the Great in their uniforms , 1908 to 1912, Berlin (Reprint Weltbild, Augsburg 2005, ISBN 3-8289-0523-4 )

Book illustrations

  • 11 pen lithographs for Goethe's poem by the artist Erdenwallen , 1833, published in Berlin 1833
  • Franz Kugler : History of Frederick the Great. Drawn by Adolph Menzel . JJ Webersche Buchhandlung, Berlin 1842, digital edition 1856 of the University Library Trier , later edition by Hermann Mendelssohn, Leipzig 1856, urn : nbn: de: bvb: 12-bsb10001721-6 (including text).
  • 436 pen lithographs for The Army of Frederick the Great in their Uniforms , begun in 1842, published in Berlin in 1857
  • 200 woodcut illustrations for the works of Frederick the Great , 1843–1846, Trier University Library.
  • 30 woodcut illustrations for an anniversary edition of Heinrich von Kleist's The Broken Jug , 1876–1877, published in Berlin, Hofmann & Co., 1877
  • In: Album of German Poets / With 36 original drawings by German artists, as: A. v. Schroeter, JB Sonderland, Theod. Hosemann, A. Menzel, v. Kloeber, F. Holbein, Rosenfelder u. a. m. Hofmann, Berlin 1848, urn : nbn: de: hbz: 061: 2-288
  • In: Friedrich Bodenstedt (ed.): Album of German art and poetry. With woodcuts based on the artist's original drawings , made by R. Brend'amour . Grote, Berlin 1867, urn : nbn: de: hbz: 061: 2-184 .


  • Claude Keisch (Ed.), Marie Ursula Rieman-Reyher (Ed.), Kerstin Bütow, Brita Reichert: Briefe. 1830-1905 . 4 volumes, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-422-06740-0 .

Places of remembrance

  • Menzelplatz (today: Leo-Blech-Platz) from June 15, 1906 to July 20, 1959 (Berlin-Grunewald)
  • Menzelstrasse since 1898 (Berlin-Grunewald)
  • Menzelstrasse since August 23, 1918 (Berlin-Mahlsdorf)
  • Menzelstrasse since January 12, 1892 (Berlin-Schöneberg)
  • Honorary grave in the Trinity Cemetery II , field OM, G1
  • In Germany there are 80 streets with the name “Menzelstraße”, nine streets with the name “Adolf-Menzel-Straße” and four with the name “Adolph-von-Menzel-Straße”.

Portraits of the person (selection)

  • Eduard Meyerheim : around 1839 / panel painting oil, canvas / 42.7 × 36.6 cm / not inscribed / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, picture index .
  • Giovanni Boldini : Panel painting oil, canvas / 41 × 54.5 cm / 21 October 1895 Berlin Boldini (center right) / State Museums in Berlin - Prussian Cultural Heritage
  • Karl Stauffer-Bern : (further dates unknown) Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), Kupferstich-Kabinett, Deutsche Fotothek .
  • Bust of Reinhold Begas : around 1875/1876 / Carrara marble / tinted / height: 66 cm, width: 63 cm, depth: 45 cm / not inscribed / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, picture index .
  • Depiction in the foreground on the right of Anton von Werner's "The Unveiling of the Richard Wagner Monument (October 1, 1903)", 1908, oil on canvas, 2.30 × 2.80 m, mural for Ludwig Leichner's villa in Dahlem, Berlinische Galerie Werner Unveiling of the Wagner monument in 1908

Coins and postage stamps

Based on Menzel's works or portraits of himself, the following were published:

Exhibitions (selection)


  • Hermann Knackfuß : Menzel, artist monograph, Velhagen & Klasing, Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1895
  • Amsler, Ruthardt (Ed.): The almost complete graphic work by Adolph von Menzel: including numerous test prints and first-rate rarities formerly in the possession of the late Mr. A. Dorgerloh ; Numerous offprints and test prints, some with handwritten explanations by the artist on the magnificent work 'The Army of Frederick the Great'; also the extremely rare etchings, which are missing in almost all collections, “The great skull hussar”, “The dead hussar”; Auction in Berlin, April 22 to 24 [1909], (Catalog No. 81), Berlin, 1909, Heidelberg University Library.
  • Karl Scheffler : Adolf Menzel, the human being, the work , Cassirer, Berlin 1915, DNB 361685505 .
  • Georg Jakob Wolf : Adolf von Menzel: the painter of German nature . 149 paintings and hand drawings by the master. Bruckmann, Munich 1915, Textarchiv - Internet Archive , ( ).
  • Elfried Bock: Adolph Menzel: Directory of his graphic work . Amsler & Ruthardt, Berlin 1923, Trier University Library.
  • Werner Schmidt : Adolf Menzel. Drawings, list and explanations . National Gallery / State Museums, Berlin 1955, DNB 453310834
  • Ulrich Bischoff, Günter Busch , Jens Christian Jensen , Richard Hoppe-Sailer, Wulf Schadendorf , Johann Schlick, Jürgen Schultze: Adolph Menzel. Realist - historist - painter of the court . Weppert KG (print), Schweinfurt, 1981, DNB 810626284 (exhibition catalog).
  • Gisela Hopp, Eckhard Schaar, Werner Hofmann (eds.): Menzel - the observer . Prestel, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7913-0587-5 (exhibition catalog).
  • Jost Hermand : Adolph Menzel with self-testimonies and picture documents (= Rowohlt's monographs , volume 361). Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1986, ISBN 3-499-50361-1 .
  • Gisold Lammel: Adolph Menzel. Frideriziana and Wilhelmiana . Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1987, ISBN 3-364-00051-4 .
  • Jens Christian Jensen:  Menzel, Adolph von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 17, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-428-00198-2 , pp. 102-104 ( digitized version ).
  • Claude Keisch, Marie Ursula Riemann-Reyher (ed.): Adolph Menzel 1815–1905. The labyrinth of reality. Berlin, National Gallery in the Altes Museum February 7th - May 11th 1997 . DuMont, Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-7701-3704-3 .
  • Michaela Diener: "A prince of art has died to us". Adolph von Menzel's fame in Imperial Germany (1905–1910) . Roderer, Regensburg 1998, ISBN 3-89073-263-1 .
  • Hubertus coal : Adolph Menzels Friedrichbilder. Theory and practice of history painting in Berlin in the 1850s . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-422-06327-7 .
  • Christina Grummt: Adolph Menzel - between art and convention, the allegory in address art of the 19th century . Reimer, Berlin, 2001, ISBN 3-496-01243-9 (modified dissertation FU Berlin 1999, 383 pages).
  • Yearbook of the Berlin Museums, Volume 41, 1999, supplement, Adolph Menzel in the labyrinth of perception. Colloquium on the occasion of the Berlin Menzel exhibition 1997 , ed. Thomas W. Gaethgens, Claude Keisch and Peter-Klaus Schuster, Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-7861-1790-X
  • Jens Christian Jensen : Adolph Menzel . DuMont, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-7701-1385-3 .
  • Werner Busch : Adolph Menzel. Life and work (= CH Beck knowledge in the Beck series , volume 2501). Beck, Munich 2004, ISBN 978-3-406-52191-1 . ( )
  • Michael Fried : Menzel's realism. Art and embodiment in 19th century Berlin (image and text), Paderborn 2008, ISBN 978-3-7705-4394-6 .
  • Bernhard Maaz (Ed.): Adolph Menzel radically real . Hirmer, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7774-4175-7 .
  • Werner Busch: Adolph Menzel: in search of reality . Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68090-8 .
  • Anja Grebe: Menzel, modern painter . Verlag Eisengold, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-944594-25-5 .


Web links

Commons : Adolph von Menzel  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Works *

Individual evidence

  1. Œuvres de Frédéric le Grand - Works of Frederick the Great. Digital edition of the Trier University Library (with all images of Adolph Menzel's drawings); accessed December 11, 2015
  2. Werner Busch : Adolph Menzel's "Encounter of Friedrich II. With Emperor Joseph II in Neisse in 1769" and Moritz von Schwind's "Kaiser Rudolfs Ritt zum Grabe" . (PDF) In: Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen , 33, 1991, pp. 173–183.
  3. ^ Stollwerck Archive, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv Cologne.
  4. Quoted from Alfred Grunow: The Kaiser and the Imperial City (= Berlinische Reminiszenzen 27). Haude & Spener, Berlin 1970, p. 67.
  5. ^ Adolph Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel. Painter. In: Orden Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts .
  6. Georg Jakob Wolf : Adolf von Menzel, the painter of German nature . 149 paintings and hand drawings by the master. Bruckmann, Munich 1915, p. 15, Textarchiv - Internet Archive ( ).
  7. Thomas W. Gaehtgens: From the historical to the contemporary genre - Menzel's portrayed authenticity and the French concept of image . In: Claude Keisch, Marie Ursula Riemann-Reyher (ed.): Adolph Menzel, 1815–1905. The labyrinth of reality . DuMont, Cologne 1996, p. 471.
  8. Ilse Kleberger: Adolph Menzel. Prussians, citizens and genius . dtv 1984, p. 37.
  9. Werner Busch: Adolph Menzel. In search of reality . CH Beck, Munich 2015, p. 64 ff.
  10. See Hubertus coal: Adolph Menzels Friedrich. An apology of historic greatness? Friedrich300 Colloquia.
  11. ^ Iselin Gundermann : Via Regia. Prussia's way to the crown. Exhibition of the Secret State Archives of Prussian Cultural Heritage 1998 . Duncker and Humblot, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-428-09454-9 , p. 102.
  12. Werner Busch : Adolph Menzel. In search of reality . CH Beck, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-406-68090-8 , pp. 160 ff.
  13. See "The Reception of Menzel's Eisenwalzwerk", Master's thesis by Manuela Lintl, Department of Art Studies, TU Berlin 1996.
  14. Passage to Das Eisenwalzwerk quoted in: Artworks from “The Aesthetics of Resistance” . ( Memento from December 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) In: Libertad! online , accessed August 22, 2018.
  15. Acquisitions 2007.; accessed December 11, 2015
  16. Georgios Chatzoudis: Adolph Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel, excerpts from the letters of an artist from 1830 to 1905 . In: LISA - the science portal of the Gerda Henkel Foundation , October 8, 2011.
  17. Menzelplatz . In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein
  18. Menzelstrasse (Grunewald). In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  19. ^ Menzelstrasse (Mahlsdorf). In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  20. Menzelstrasse (Schöneberg). In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  21. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexikon Berliner Grabstätten , Haude & Spener, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-7759-0476-X , p. 93 and Adolph von Menzel . In: Foundation for historical churchyards and cemeteries in Berlin-Brandenburg
  22. ^ Menzelstrasse in Germany. In: Streets in Germany
  23. ^ Adolf-Menzel-Strasse in Germany . In: Streets in Germany
  24. picture index
  25. Gottfried Sello : Adolph von Menzel - Everything that is real is funny. A well-known artist in new contexts . In: Die Zeit , No. 27/1982; for the exhibition in Hamburg.
  26. Gottfried Sello: Painting on a large scale, and over a thousand times the old Fritz . In: Die Zeit , No. 19/1981; to the exhibition in the Kiel art gallery .
  27. Max Friedländer : Elfried Bock . In: Kunst und Künstler: illustrated monthly for fine arts and applied arts , 1933 (32), p. 62.