Paul Thumann

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Paul Thumann

Friedrich Paul Thumann (born October 5, 1834 in Groß Tzschacksdorf near Forst (Lausitz) , † February 19, 1908 in Berlin ) was a German illustrator and portrait painter .


Thumann, the son of a multi-talented village school teacher, was a student at the Prussian Academy of the Arts in Berlin from 1855 to 1856 and then worked in Julius Hübner's studio in Dresden until 1860 . After spending two years in Leipzig , he studied at the Grand Ducal Saxon Art School in Weimar under Ferdinand Pauwels , where he was appointed professor in 1866.

Illustration to Chamisso Life Songs and Pictures
The time of roses and dreams

In the war of 1870/71 Thumann was employed as a draftsman in the headquarters of the III. Army deployed. After working as a teacher in Dresden from 1872, he was appointed professor at the Art Academy in Berlin in 1875 ; he resigned from this position in 1887. He toured Hungary and Transylvania in 1862 , Italy in 1865 , and later France , Belgium and England . Between 1887 and 1891 he lived in Italy and in 1892 took over Julius Schrader's master workshop in Berlin.

Thumann found his main activity in illustration (e.g. Auerbach's calendar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Poetry and Truth , Alfred Tennyson's Enoch Arden , Adelbert von Chamisso 's women's love and life , the same songs and pictures of life , Robert Hamerling's Amor and Psyche , Heinrich Heines Book of Songs ).

The elegance of the design, the sensible seriousness and the grace of the figures won these illustrations great applause. But Thumann finally lost himself in a sweet and superficial play of forms, which weakened the impression of his first creations.

In 1860 Thumann married a woman from the English nobility. A daughter of Thumann married a brother of the English poet Algernon Swinburne .

Works (selection)

In addition to his first work, one of his paintings should be mentioned:

  • St. Hedwigis , Altarpiece for Liegnitz (1857),

Five pictures from the life of Martin Luther for the so-called Reformation room on the Wartburg :

  • Luther burns the ban threat scroll (1872)
  • Luther at the Reichstag in Worms (1872)
  • Luther's Arrival at the Wartburg (1873)
  • Luther translates the Bible (1872)
  • Luther with students at the Zum Bären inn in Jena (1873)
  • Luther's wedding (1871),
  • the return of Hermann the Cheruscan from the battle of the Teutoburg Forest (1883) and
  • the baptism Wittekinds (1884) for the high school to Minden and
  • the three Fates

He also painted study heads, the advantage of which is based on the sweetish elegance of the conception.

Illustrations (selection)

  • In: Album of German Art and Poetry. With woodcuts based on the artist's original drawings, made by R. Brend'amour. Edited by Friedrich Bodenstedt. Grote, Berlin 1867. urn : nbn: de: hbz: 061: 2-184


  • Georg Speitel: Paul Thumann (1834–1908) and his monumental paintings in Minden. In: Mitteilungen des Mindener Geschichtsverein , year 51 (1979), pp. 85–92.
  • Walther Scheidig: The History of the Weimar School of Painting 1860-1900 . Seemann, Leipzig 1991, ISBN 3-363-00538-5 , p.?.
  • Jutta Krauß (ed.), Grit Jacobs: Luther's pictorial biography: the former Reformation rooms of the Wartburg . Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-7954-2647-7 , p.?.

Web links

Commons : Paul Thumann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e images at The painting titles were taken from: Grit Jacobs: Luther's picture biography […] , see literature