This German painter, illustrator and graphic artist is called by his contemporaries "the greatest artist ever living." What is Friedrich Overbeck so famous for?
He was born on July 3, 1789 in the port city of Lübeck in northern Germany, in a very educated and enlightened family of hereditary lawyers. The father of the future artist, in addition to being a diplomat, senator, mayor, canon in the Catholic Church, was also a translator and poet.
Little Friedrich studied drawing with the local artist J. Perua, and at 17 went to one of the oldest art schools in Europe - to the Vienna Academy of Arts, where he studied from 1806 to 1810.
The talented, enthusiastic, inspired by the Renaissance romanticism, the work of Raphael and Durer, the young overwhelmed the classical traditional education of the academy.
And in 1809, together with his friends, he creates a group of Nazarene artists, or otherwise, the Union of Luke. This name is taken in the likeness of the medieval guild of the 15th century, which brought together groups of creative people and was also named after St. Luke, the patron saint of artists.
In 1810, Overbeck dropped out of the Academy and, together with other members of the group, left for Rome. Having settled in an abandoned monastery, they represent a very strange and picturesque society, with long hair, in national ancient German costumes. And, by the way, the name “Nazarenes” came from the self-portraits of Dürer, depicting him with a traditional long-haired hairstyle, which Friedrich loved.
The members of the group are Catholics, they are very religious and see as their goal the renewal and revival of the traditions of religious Italian and German art, through which a new highly spiritual and patriotic art will arise simultaneously.
During this period, such works as “St. Sebastian”, “Christ in the House of Mary and Martha”, “Adoration of the Magi”, as well as portraits of artist friends, sketches and sketches are known.
Since 1816, the recognition and prosperity of the Nazarene’s work has begun. They make murals for the Bartoldi House in Rome, decorate Villa Massimo. It was fresco painting that brought them fame.
Next, a whole series of significant works in Overcamp's work - the fresco “The Last Judgment”, the canvases “Italy and Germany”, “The Triumph of Religion in the Arts” (after which the phrase about him as the greatest artist of our time was announced), “The Seven Sacraments” , "The Death of Joseph", "Self-portrait with his wife and son Alfonso" and others.
From 1831 to 1863, Friedrich Overcamp an honorary member of the Academies - Vienna, Florence, Berlin, the city of Antwerp, was awarded the Order of Merit for Bavaria. It has significance and weight in church circles.
The artist died on November 12, 1869 in Rome. But until the end of his life he remained faithful to religious art, his youthful "Nazarene" idea of the revival of German painting.