Hermann Prell

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Hermann Prell around 1900
Hermann Prell: Coast at Sestri Levante , 1906

Hermann Prell (born April 29, 1854 in Leipzig , † May 18, 1922 in Loschwitz [district of Dresden since 1922 ]) was a German sculptor , historical and monumental painter , and a privy councilor and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden.


Prell was the son of the silk merchant and later translator Eduard Prell-Erckens (1814–1898) and his wife (née Kropp). Since the father was rather negative about the son's wish to become a painter, Prell tried to change his mind by obtaining an expert opinion. For this he sent a draft to Wilhelm von Kaulbach , the leading art expert at the time, with the request to assess whether he had enough talent for this profession. The latter wrote a detailed answer to the father, so that he now gave in to the son's request. Prell then left grammar school and began studying at the Dresden Art Academy under Theodor Grosse at the age of 16 , before switching to Carl Gussow at the Berlin Academy in 1876 . Like Arnold Böcklin in particular, Max Klinger , who was almost the same age, was his great role model. From 1879 to 1881 he stayed in Rome and then returned to Berlin. Hans von Marées , who had taught him in Rome, took a skeptical attitude towards him. After teaching at the Berlin Art Academy since 1886, he was appointed professor at the Dresden Art Academy in 1892. In 1893 or 1894 he received a large gold medal at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition . He was also awarded the Crown Order IV class.

Was bouncing

  • Member of the academies of the arts in Berlin, Dresden and Rome
  • Ordinary member and chairman of the artistic expert association
  • Honorary member of the Dresden Art Cooperative and the Roman Artists Association

On November 1, 1886, he married the painter Sophie Sthamer. Prell retired in 1914. From 1897, his studio and apartment were in a villa on the Elbe slope . Until 1902 he lived in Pillnitzerstr. 26. From 1909 at the latest, his place of residence will be Schillerstr. 27 in Dresden-Loschwitz. His son was the Tharandt zoologist Heinrich Prell (1888–1962). His brother was the landscape painter Walter Prell (1857–1936).

Prell had a fruitful artistic collaboration with Alfred Messel , Otto Lessing and Christian Behrens .

The main importance of Prell lies in the area of monumental painting , since his sense of pompous decorative effect, as it was required in the Wilhelmine era , recommended him especially for this subject. Based on studies, Prell relied on an ideal style based on the forms of the High Renaissance , which, however, aimed at a naturalistic-illusionistic effect. In the overall composition of his cycles, Prell endeavored to ignore the wall in the Baroque style and to give the visitor the feeling of expansion through fictitious breakthroughs.

In February 1945, many of his paintings burned in the building of the Foreign Office in Berlin as well as his depictions from Greek mythology in the stairwell of the Albertinum and in the ballroom of the New Town Hall during the air raids on Dresden .

Works (selection)

Rest on the run
King Albert in Sibyllenort (May 16, 1902), sketch


  • Saint George and the Archangel Michael kill the dragon , 1908 Heliogravure, dedicated to Martin Wigand , sheet size is approx. 36.5 by 20.2 cm.
  • The last hunt
  • The water woman
  • Your Excellency Mohr
  • Prometheus
  • Cube water woman
  • Die Last Hunt , 1878



  • Female Herme , sculpture, 1883–1885, marble, painted by him, Museum der Schönen Künste, Leipzig
  • Aphrodite (bronze statue), Prometheus (bronze statue) exhibited in 1901 in the Great Berlin Art Exhibition and in 1902 in the Jubilee Art Exhibition in Karlsruhe


  • After the incorporation of Loschwitz to Dresden in 1922 after the factory was Carl Emil Eschebach named Eschebach street in Hermann-Prell-road renamed because there in the district Pieschen already a same road.



  • Prell, Hermann. In: Friedrich von Boetticher: painter works of the 19th century. Contribution to art history. Volume 2/1, sheets 1–32: Mayer, Ludwig – Rybkowski. Ms. v. Boetticher's Verlag, Dresden 1898, pp. 307-310 ( archive.org ).
  • Ludwig Pietsch : Hermann Prell . In: The Art of Our Time; a chronicle of modern art life . F. Hanfstaengl, Munich 1892, p. 41-60 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  • Adolf Rosenberg: Prell (=  artist monographs . Volume 53 ). Velhagen & Klasing, Bielefeld / Leipzig 1901 ( archive.org ).
  • Paul Herrmann: The staircase in the Royal Albertinum in Dresden . 6th edition. Amelang'sche kunethehandung, Berlin-Charlottenburg 1907 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  • Prell, Hermann . In: Hans Vollmer (Hrsg.): General lexicon of fine artists from antiquity to the present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker . tape 27 : Piermaria – Ramsdell . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1933, p. 375 .
  • Christel Wünsch: Hermann Prell. In: Art has never been possessed by a person alone. Three hundred years of the Berlin Academy of the Arts and the University of the Arts. Catalog Akademie der Künste and Hochschule der Künste, Berlin 1996, pp. 317–319.
  • Hartwig Fischer : A Wilhelmine total work of art on the Capitol. Hermann Prell and the establishment of the throne room in the German Embassy in Rome 1894–1899. Hamburg 1998.

Web links

Commons : Hermann Prell  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Prell, Hermann . In: Who is it . 8th edition. HA Ludwig Degener, Leipzig 1922, p. 1205 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  2. ^ Ludwig Pietsch : Hermann Prell . In: The Art of Our Time; a chronicle of modern art life . F. Hanfstaengl, Munich 1892, p. 41-60 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  3. ^ Prell, Hermann Heinrich . In: Hans Wolfgang Singer (Ed.): General Artist Lexicon. Life and works of the most famous visual artists . Prepared by Hermann Alexander Müller . 5th unchanged edition. tape 3 : Lhérie – Quittry . Literary Institute, Rütten & Loening, Frankfurt a. M. 1921, p. 487 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).
  4. ^ Ulrich Schulte-Wülwer : Kiel artist. Volume 2: Artistic Life in the Imperial Era, 1871–1918. Boyens, Heide 2016, ISBN 978-3-8042-1442-2 , p. 221.
  5. Prell, Hermann . In: Who is it . 4th edition. HA Ludwig Degener, Leipzig 1909, p. 1086 ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ).