Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

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Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, drawn by Hugo Bürkner (woodcut)
Signature Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld.PNG

Julius Veit Hans Schnorr von Carolsfeld (born March 26, 1794 in Leipzig , † May 24, 1872 in Dresden ) was a painter of German Romanticism . Alongside Friedrich Overbeck , he is the most famous painter of Nazarene art .


Self-Portrait (Rome 1820)

Julius comes from the Schnorr von Carolsfeld family of artists . He is the youngest son and student of the painter Veit Hanns Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1764–1841). His brothers Ludwig Ferdinand (1788–1853) and Eduard (1790–1819) were also painters.

He attended the St. Thomas School in Leipzig and began studying at the Vienna Art Academy in 1811 . He joined a loose circle of artists around Ferdinand Johann von Olivier . These are close to the Nazarene art . In March 1817 he was accepted into the Lukasbund , the artistic association of this movement. In the summer of that year he went on a trip to the Salzburger Land with the brothers Ferdinand and Friedrich von Olivier , which was to become decisive for his further artistic development as a landscape painter . In October he traveled to Italy with the poet Wilhelm Müller . He finally reached Rome via Venice and Florence in January 1818 and joined the Nazarenes living there . There he befriended Carl Gottlieb Peschel in 1826 .

Grave of Schnorr von Carolsfeld on the Alten Annenfriedhof in the Südvorstadt in Dresden

In 1827 he was commissioned by King Ludwig I as a professor at the Munich Academy appointed. In the same year he married his wife Marie Heller, the step-daughter of Ferdinand Olivier, in Vienna. The couple had six sons and three daughters, including the tenor Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld , the first singer of Tristan, and Karl Schnorr von Carolsfeld , later General Director of the Royal Bavarian State Railways .

In 1842 he was awarded the order Pour le mérite for science and the arts . In 1846 he took up a professorship at the Dresden Art Academy and became head of the Dresden Picture Gallery . In 1867 he was accepted as an external member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts .

With Carl Grüneisen and Karl Schnaase , von Carolsfeld was the founder and co-editor of the Christian Art Journal for Church, School and House (Stuttgart since 1858).

Julius Schnorr is buried together with his son Ludwig in the Alten Annenfriedhof in Dresden's Südvorstadt .

Heads of the children by Jul.Schorr von Carolsfeld (painting by Moritz von Schwind )

Under the windows of the first floor of the Düsseldorf Art Academy there is a frieze on which the names of important artists of all times are engraved. Schnorr is on the side of the entrance portal.

In 1937, Schnorrgasse in Vienna- Floridsdorf (21st district) was named after him and his brother Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr.


Portrait of Mrs. Klara Bianka von Quandt with a lute, 1820

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld was the most prominent landscape painter among the Nazarenes. Connoisseurs consider his depictions of the Albanian and Sabine Mountains in Italy to be among the best landscape depictions of the 19th century. On the one hand, a strong reference to reality was important to him - his landscapes are true to nature down to the last detail and not heroic or visionary as with other romantic painters. On the other hand, they cannot be called realistic vedute : Even more important than the realism of the representation is a solemn inwardness in them, which is often characterized by the connection with a religious motif and which is typical of the Nazarene visual art.

On behalf of the Naumburg canon Immanuel Christian Leberecht von Ampach , the painting Let the little children come to me was created from 1820 , also called Christ Blessing the Children for the Christ cycle in Naumburg Cathedral . The painting was burned in 1931 in the Glaspalast in Munich , parts of the preparatory cardboard are in the Rehbenitz estate in the Behnhaus in Lübeck.

From 1821 to 1827 Julius Schnorr played a key role in the painting of the Casino Massimo in Rome, where he painted the frescoes in the Ariost room . This major order was the main reason for the artistic reputation of the Nazarenes. In 1827 he returned to Vienna, where he married. Schnorr then received the order from King Ludwig I to paint five halls in the royal building of the Munich residence with scenes from the Nibelungenlied . He designed a complex romantic picture cycle, which was not completed until 1867 due to various difficulties. One of the reasons for this delay was the commission from Ludwig I in 1835 to decorate the three imperial halls in the ballroom building of the residence with frescoes . In contrast to the imperial frescoes, the Nibelungen Halls have been preserved.

Pictures of the Bible: The Battle of Jericho

From 1851 to 1860 he created an extensive Bible illustration in a series of 240 wood engravings . These images of the Bible developed an astonishing effect that reached far beyond national and confessional boundaries and shaped the Bible piety of generations in Germany. Along with Gustave Doré , Schnorr is considered the most important Bible illustrator of the 19th century. Although Julius Schnorr was a Lutheran and, unlike some other Protestant artists, never converted to Catholicism , he painted and drew deeply religious depictions of Jesus and Mary . His painting Maria mit Kind from 1820, which is exhibited in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, is one of the most famous works of this genre from the 19th century.

Many of these religious images have been and are being published en masse in kitschy reproductions as devotional pictures. However, one is doing this versatile painter an injustice if one denigrates him as kitschy on the basis of these mass copies.

That he does not fit into this scheme is also shown by the fact that he is the only artist Nazarene quite a lot of empathy drawn nudes left.


The Neue Meister gallery in Dresden owns a rich collection of pictures by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, in particular many landscape pictures, as well as a portrait of him drawn by Friedrich von Olivier . In addition, there are numerous large and small format paintings in the inventory of the Belvedere in Vienna.


The drawings, copper engravings and pictures by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld are shown again and again in special exhibitions in various museums. In 1973 Schnorr's Roman portrait book was shown in the Kupferstichkabinett of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna . Just one year later, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin dedicated an exhibition to him in which Schnorr's drawings were presented. Almost ten years later, from November 1982 to February 1983, the Clemens Sels Museum in Neuss curated a show on Schnorr's best-known work, the Bible in Pictures , as well as on other biblical pictures of the Nazarenes. Again about ten years passed before a retrospective on Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld could be seen in the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig (March 26 to May 23, 1994) and in the Kunsthalle Bremen (June 5 to July 31, 1994). In the same year (from November 20, 1994 to January 1, 1995) the Landesmuseum Mainz presented Schnorr's drawings, which were then exhibited in the Preysing Palace in Munich (from February 9 to April 8, 1995). In 1999/2000, the Kupferstich-Kabinett and the armory of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden showed the cardboard boxes for the murals of the Munich residence, which illustrated the life of Charlemagne . Shortly afterwards Schnorr's drawings, which he made during his time in Italy, were exhibited in the Haus der Kunst in Munich (2000) and again in the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett. From April 30 to July 31, 2016, the special exhibition “The Bible in Pictures. Drawings by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld ” took place in the Lutherhaus Eisenach .

Book editions

  • Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Gospel in pictures . Edition temple library. ISBN 978-3-930730-36-0
  • Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: The Bible in Pictures. 240 representations, invented and drawn on wood . 2nd reprint d. Ed. Leipzig, Wigand, 1860. - Zurich: Theol. Verl., 1989. ISBN 3-290-11488-0


Web links

Commons : Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Franz Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Julius . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 32. Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1891, pp. 182-189.
  2. Lisa Berins: Schnorr von Carolsfeld in Eisenach: Meticulous sketches of faith . In: Thüringische Landeszeitung . April 29, 2016 ( tlz.de ).