Spitzweg, Carl (1808-1885) - 1850 The Bookworm (Museum Georg Schafer, Schweinfurt, Germany)

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    Carl Spitzweg was a German romanticist painter and poet. He is considered to be one of the most important representatives of the Biedermeier era. He was born in Unterpfaffenhofen. His father, a wealthy merchant, had Carl trained as a pharmacist. He attained his qualification from the University of Munich, but while recovering from an illness he also took up painting. Spitzweg was self-taught, and began by copying the works of Flemish masters. He contributed his first work to satiric magazines. Upon receiving an inheritance in 1833, he was able to dedicate himself to painting.

    Later, Spitzweg visited European art centers, studying the works of various artists and refining his technique and style. His later paintings and drawings are often humorous genre works. Many of his paintings depict sharply characterized eccentrics, for example The Bookworm (1850) and The Hypochondriac (c. 1865).

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    1. RasMarley 51 months ago | reply

      The picture is typical of Biedermeier art, encapsulating the introspective and conservative mood in Europe during the period between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the revolutions of 1848, but at the same time poking fun at those attitudes by embodying them in the fusty old scholar unconcerned with the affairs of the wider world.

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