Heinrich Christoph Kolbe (1771–1836)

Kolbe, born at Düsseldorf, was a history and portrait painter, a draughtsman, and an etcher. He studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy with Johann Peter Langer, at the same time working at Langer's wallpaper factory. From 1800 he was studying at Antwerp and Brussels before going to Paris for some ten years, and dedicating himself to the classicism of David and his successors. He attended the École des Beaux-Arts, and was later encouraged by his teachers, Francois André Vincent, and François Gérard, to turn from history painting to portraiture. He was a member of Friedrich Schlegel's circle and worked on his magazine Europa. He later worked at Gérard's studio. Kolbe was awarded a number of prizes, including one from the Paris Academy before returning to Germany in around 1811. From this time, he became a very successful portrait painter of notable persons. He travelled to Paris again between 1818 and 1820, being awarded a silver medal at an exhibition in Lille. Between 1822 and 1832 he was a professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Kolbe died at Düsseldorf.









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