Peter Geist

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Peter Geist (born February 9, 1816 in Volkach ; † June 30, 1867 in Würzburg ) was a Lower Franconian genre and church painter . In particular, his depictions of everyday life, on which many contemporary costumes are depicted, are now exhibited in the Museum für Franken .


Peter Geist was born in Volkach on February 9, 1816 as the son of the painter and tüncher Caspar Geist and his wife Anna Maria Cornel. The family lived at Oberen Markt 7 , what was then Saumarkt. Geist had seven siblings, three of whom died shortly after birth. The later painter's mother died in 1821 at the age of only 37. The father remarried Maria Agnes Reissner from Garstadt in the same year .

Between 1821 and 1828, Geist attended elementary school in the Volkach town hall with his younger brother Sebastian Geist , who would later become a famous watchmaker . He then left the family and went on a hike to find a suitable apprenticeship. He found this in Vienna and did a four-year apprenticeship as a lacquer painter . In addition, the young Peter Geist drew in his spare time.

This was also the reason why he received drawing lessons from the history painter Josef Müller at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1835 . This training lasted a total of seven years; Geist graduated in 1842. In the same year he returned to Franconia , hired himself out as a hand drawn artist in Würzburg and painted commissioned works for the city's lithographic institutions. As early as 1842 he had a hiking book made out that certified his skills.

A short time later, Geist traveled to the Städel Art Institute in Frankfurt , where he was again trained in painting by the art professor Jakob Becker . The first large oil paintings fall during his time in Frankfurt. A picture of the Madonna was painted for the Franciscan church in Würzburg, later it was given to the Schwarzenberg monastery church. In 1848 Peter Geist had acquired a reputation as a painter and returned to Würzburg.

The painter joined the Würzburger Kunstverein under its chairman Philipp Stöhr. It was here that the first genre paintings were created, in which Geist recorded important events in everyday life in Würzburg, and many lithographs were also created . For the first time he also worked on stations of the cross, pictures of saints and votive pictures, as well as flags that Geist painted in the style of the Nazarenes . Before that, in 1845, his most important picture "Marienkapelle und Marktplatz in Würzburg" had already appeared.

In 1852, Geist bought a house in the Würzburg cathedral district and married Margaretha Bäuerlein from Eltmann . Over the years, a total of four daughters and one son were born to the couple. In 1856, Geist painted two altarpieces for the parish church in his hometown of Volkach, showing the "Adoration of the Magi" and "Christ on the Mount of Olives". Peter Geist died on June 30, 1867 in Würzburg.

Works (selection)

“The Adoration of the Magi” in the Volkach Church

Genre painting

  • 1845: Marienkapelle and market square in Würzburg (oil painting, in the Museum für Franken)
  • 1848: Archduke Johann moves into Würzburg (oil painting, also lithograph)
  • 1848: Memorable Events of 1848 (oil painting, burned in 1945)
  • 1852: Lower Franconian costumes (lithograph)

Church painting


  • Josef Dünninger : Lower Franconian costumes. 12 panels after watercolors by Peter Geist, 1852, in the Mainfränkisches Museum . Wuerzburg 1969.
  • Heinz Otte: Peter Geist - a Franconian painter from Volkach (1816-1867) . In: Ute Feuerbach (Ed.): Our Main Loop. 1978-1992 . Volkach 2008.

Web links

Commons : Peter Geist  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Otte, Heinz: Peter Geist . P. 111.
  2. Otte, Heinz: Peter Geist . Ibid.
  3. ^ German biography: Peter Geist , accessed on January 25, 2015.
  4. Otte, Heinz: Peter Geist . P. 112.