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Alfred Rethel

1816-1859 Germany/Romanticism


Brief Biography-Alfred Rethel, a history painter, was born in Aachen and studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art from an early age. In 1837, he moved to Frankfurt, where his work eventually won him the task of painting a cycle of frescoes from the life of Charlemagne at the Aachen Town Hall. He first visited Italy in 1844 for stimulus before commencing the frescoes. However, he could not complete the project due to an ongoing mental illness. He spent three years in Dresden and revisited Italy, but his illness beset him severely, and he returned to Dresden. Rethel painted watercolours of Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps and completed the Another Dance of Death woodcut series, satirising the Dresden Revolution, before being committed to an asylum in Düsseldorf, where he died in 1859.


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The Battle of

The Battle of Cordoba

The Artist's

The Artist-s Mother

Allegory on

Allegory on the Suppression of the Revolutio

The Reconciliation
of Otto the Great

The Reconciliation of Otto the Great with his Brother Henry




Saint Boniface

The Fall of

The fall of Irminsul

Harken Oort

Harken Oort Factory

Death on the

Death on the Barricades