Painter, landscape painter, marine painter, draughtsman, commercial artist and caricaturist
Andreas Achenbach was born in Kassel in 1815. When he was only twelve he attended the classes of H. C. Kolbe, C. F. Schäffer and J. W. Schirmer at the Düsseldorfer Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf’s art academy. In 1829 he sold a painting at the first exhibition of the Kunstverein für Rheinland und Westfalen. During travels with his father from 1832 to 1833 he became more familiar with seventeenth-century Netherlandish painting. He lived in Munich and Frankfurt am Main for a short time before finally settling in Düsseldorf. Study trips took him to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, England, France and Italy. It was primarily the sea and sea coasts that awakened his love of movement in nature. Achenbach is known mainly for his virtuosic landscapes and dramatic sea paintings. A central theme in his work is the human struggle for existence and man’s helplessness in the face of natural forces. The extensive oeuvre of this painter, who was productive until late in life, is mainly made up of landscape and marine pictures along with a few interiors and portraits. He is considered one of the most important artists of the Düsseldorf School and an important representative of nineteenth-century German painting. Achenbach died in Düsseldorf in 1910.