Ernst Fries was born in Heidelberg in 1801. In his early years he received artistic instruction in his home town and later in Karlsruhe. He began to study at Munich’s art academy in 1818, but in the same year he moved to Darmstadt, where he studied under Georg Moller and began his study of optics and perspective. After hiking trips in Germany and Switzerland, in 1823 he undertook a nearly four-year-long cultural sojourn in Italy. In Rome he came into contact with the “German Romans” living there, notably Joseph Anton Koch and Friedrich Overbeck. In 1826 he met Camille Corot and worked alongside him. In 1827 Fries returned to Heidelberg, and two years later he moved to Munich. In 1831 he was appointed court painter to Grand Duke Leopold of Baden and moved to Karlsruhe, where he died in 1833.