Albrecht Adam

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Albrecht Adam, portrait by Franz Hanfstaengl around 1850

Albrecht Adam (born April 16, 1786 in Nördlingen , † August 28, 1862 in Munich ) was a German battle, portrait and genre painter .


Albrecht Adam was the head of the Adam family of painters . But his father was the confectioner from Nördlingen Veit Jeremias Adam (1754-1830), his mother was his wife Margarethe Barbara Thilo , a daughter of the pastor Thilo from Nördlingen. His brother Heinrich Adam (1787–1862) also became a painter.

life and work

He went to Nuremberg as a pastry assistant and attended the drawing academy here . The battle painter Johann Lorenz Rugendas laid the germ of his later inclination in the boy. In 1807 he stayed in Munich, where he made the acquaintance of the painters Margarethe Geiger and Sophie Reinhard ; all three went to Vienna together in 1808 , where Adam attended the academy . In 1809 Adam appeared as an eyewitness at the battles of Aspern (May 21/22) and Wagram (July 5/6) in the wake of Austrian and Bavarian military leaders, namely the Bavarian Major General Count Froberg-Montjoie. During the battle of Wagram he made several sketches , of which the one exhibited in the Vienna Army History Museum is attributed to him. In his autobiography, which did not appear until 1886, he also described these experiences in writing:

“So my ardent wish to witness a great battle was fulfilled. There was now enough food for thought, including pictures, if time and circumstances allowed. In these days I saw so many shocking scenes that I had no desire to follow the army any further. "

- Albrecht Adam
Napoleon I. 1809 in front of Regensburg Lower Saxony State Museum Hanover
Memorial plaque for Albrecht Adam in Nördlingen

Yet Adam in 1812 participated in the Grande Armée at the Russian campaign in part. Returning from there to Munich in December 1812 under great danger, he went to Italy , where he stayed until 1815, then executed a series of battle pictures from the last wars in Munich and published a magnificent lithographic work in 120 sheets under the title: Voyage pittoresque et militaire , also containing battle scenes.

He was later employed by King Ludwig of Bavaria . Among other things, Adam painted the Battle of the Moskva for the banquet hall of the royal residence in Munich . In 1848/49 he took part in the campaign in Italy under Radetzky , the result of which are the paintings of the battles of Novara and Custozza in the Neue Pinakothek . His last work was the Battle of Zorndorf for the Maximilianeum in Munich.


Adam married Magdalena Sander (1793–1865) in Munich in 1812 , a daughter of the merchant Sander from Milan. The couple had seven children. Four of his sons also became painters: Benno (1812–1892), Franz (1815–1886), Eugen (1817–1880) and the lithographer Julius Adam (1821–1874). In some cases he also worked with his sons, for example with his son Franz, with whom he created a monumental rider portrait of the young Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria , which is now in the Viennese Army History Museum .

One of his grandchildren was Julius Adam (1852–1913) , who became known as a cat painter, as well as the history painter Ludwig von Langenmantel (1854–1922) from the marriage of his daughter Magdalena (1825–1900) with the architect and civil engineer Otto von Langenmantel .


Grave of Albrecht Adam on the old southern cemetery in Munich location
Portrait medallion on the tombstone of Albrecht Adam by the sculptor Johann von Halbig

The tomb of Albrecht Adam is on the old southern cemetery in Munich (burial ground 27 - Series 1 - Place 25/26) Location . His wife Magdalena (1793–1863), born Sander, as well as some of his children and daughters-in-law are also in the tomb. His grandson, Julius Adam (1852–1913) , who became known as a cat painter, is noted on the grave inscription, but according to the grave book is just as little in the grave as his brother Heinrich Adam, who is mentioned in inscriptions .


  • Field Marshal Radetzky and his staff in the battle of Novara on March 23, 1849 , 1855. Oil on canvas, 120 × 75 cm, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna.
  • Portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria at the age of 26, on horseback , 1856. Oil on canvas, 389 × 339 cm, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna.
  • Defense of the log house in Malborghetto from May 15 to 17, 1809 under the orders of the captain in the engineer corps Friedrich Hensel , 1843. Oil on canvas, 126 × 182 cm, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna.
  • The Battle of Wagram, July 5th and 6th, 1809 , around 1810. Oil on paper, 22 × 28 cm, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna.
  • Field Marshal Joseph Wenzel Radetzky Graf von Radetz with his staff in front of Milan, 1848 , 1849. Oil on canvas, 81 × 108 cm, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna.
  • After the battle. 1840, oil on canvas 80.5 × 108.5 cm, Museum Georg Schäfer Schweinfurt. Scene from the Battle of Borodino with a dying horse and a riderless horse, fallen soldier and two soldiers looking after wounded comrades.
  • An abandoned horse on the Borodino battlefield. 1834. Hamburger Kunsthalle . Scene from the Battle of Borodino with a horse that has become abandoned during the battle and a soldier in the background who is leading away several horses that have also become abandoned.
  • Napoleon before Moscow . 1837, oil on canvas, Jenisch-Haus (Hamburg) , 1st floor. Acquired in 1999 from the Altona Museum .


See also


Web links

Commons : Albrecht Adam  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Claudia Reichl-Ham: The year 1809 as reflected in the objects in the Army History Museum. In: Viribus Unitis. Annual report 2009 of the Army History Museum. Vienna 2010, p. 88 f.
  2. a b Albrecht Adam: III. Campaign of 1809. In: From the life of a battle painter. Stuttgart 1886 ( ).
  3. ^ Heinrich Pallmann : Adam, Albrecht . In: Ulrich Thieme , Felix Becker (Hrsg.): General Lexicon of Fine Artists from Antiquity to the Present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker. tape 1 : Aa – Antonio de Miraguel . Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig 1907, p. 57–58 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  4. ^ Manfried Rauchsteiner , Manfred Litscher: The Heeresgeschichtliche Museum in Vienna. Verlag Styria, Vienna 2000, ISBN 3-222-12834-0 , p. 49.
  5. ^ Bruno Bushart , Matthias Eberle, Jens Christian Jensen : Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt. 2nd edition 2002, p. 25.