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Anton von Werner

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Anton von Werner

Anton von Werner
Selbstbildnis - self portrait, 1885
Born (1843-05-09)May 9, 1843
Frankfurt (Oder)
Died January 4, 1915(1915-01-04) (aged 71)
Nationality German
Known for painting

Anton Alexander von Werner (May 9, 1843 – January 4, 1915)[1] was a German painter in the Kingdom of Prussia.

Werner was born in Frankfurt (Oder) in the Province of Brandenburg. He began painting in 1857 as a student painter, then studied painting at the Academy of the Arts in Berlin. He pursued his studies at Karlsruhe, where he studied under Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Ludwig Des Coudres and Adolf Schroedter. After having won a travelling scholarship upon the exhibition of his early works, he visited Paris in 1867, and afterwards Italy, where he remained for some time. On his return, he received several state commissions.

On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Werner was sent with the staff of the third corps d'armée, and stayed in France until the close of the campaign in 1871.[2] In that year, he married Malwine Schroedter, Adolph Schroedter's daughter.[3] In 1873 he was appointed professor at the Berlin Academy. His career reached its peak when he became, in 1875, director of the Academy. After 1888, while in William II's court, Werner tutored the emperor to become a painter.[1] In 1909, he succeeded Hugo von Tschudi in to directing the Nationalgalerie in Berlin.[4] He died in Berlin in 1915 and was interred at the Alten Zwölf-Apostel-Kirchhof à Berlin-Schöneberg.

Werner's more important works include The Capitulation of Sedan, Proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles, Moltke before Paris, Moltke at Versailles, The Meeting of Bismarck and Napoleon III, Christ and the Tribute Money, William I visiting the Tombs, The Congress of Berlin, and some decorations executed in mosaic for the Berlin Victory Column. Werner's work is chiefly interesting for the historic value of his pictures of the events of the Franco-Prussian War.

Werner was good friends with Norwegian painter Hans Gude whom he met at the Karlsruhe school, and whom he would later work with at the Berlin Academy.[5] Gude wrote of Werner in 1873,

Even then [Werner] manifested a versatile and rich talent, besides incredible assiduity and capacity for work; he was one of the best on our side. He was also tireless in inventing all sorts of high jinks to amuse us on the Sunday afternoons when the entire group assembled.
—Hans Gude[5]


Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches (1877)
  • 1864 Kinderkopf im Profil (Child's Head in Profile)
  • 1867 Kauernder Jüngling (Crouching Boy)
  • 1872 Allegorie auf die Entstehung der deutschen Einheit (eine Vorstudie zum Mosaik an der Siegessäule in Berlin)
  • 1873 Husar und älterer Offizier (Hussar and An Older Officer)
  • 1877 Die Proklamation des Deutschen Kaiserreiches (The Proclamation of the German Empire)
  • 1879 Taufe in meinem Hause (Baptism in My House)
  • 1883 Sedan Panorama
  • 1886 Kaiserin Gigi
  • 1888 Frederick III contemplating the corpse of French general Abel Douay
  • 1893 Man with newspaper", oil on wood, private collection
Anton von Werner "Mann mit Zeitung", 1893, Öl auf Holz, 26cm x 33 cm, Realismus, Wilhelminisches Zeitalter, Privatbesitz

Proteges and students

One of his students at the Prussian Academy of Arts was Emil Fuchs.[6]


  1. ^ a b Fulbrook, Mary and John Breuilly (1997) German History Since 1800 "Oxford University Press US". 640 p. ISBN 0-340-69200-6.
  2. ^ Biographie:Anton von Werner, 1843-1915, "German Historical Museum" accessed on May 2, 2006.
  3. ^ Dr. Joachim Reinhardt, Anton von Werner "Dr. Joachim Reinhardt" accessed on May 2, 2006.
  4. ^ Malyon, John. ART / 4 / 2Day "Estate of Bernard Safran". accessed on May 2, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Haverkamp, Frode. Hans Fredrik Gude: From National Romanticism to Realism in Landscape (in Norwegian). trans. Joan Fuglesang. 
  6. ^ Quoted on Tate website: Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.227-8


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