Painter, history painter (male), genre painter (male), portrait painter, lithographer, commercial artist (male), etcher and art dealer (male)
Born in Hanau in 1800, Oppenheim is considered to be the first academically trained Jewish painter in the 19th century. He studied at the Hanau Electoral Drawing Academy from 1810 and at the Munich Academy from 1818. In 1820/21, he stayed in Paris, from where he travelled to Italy. His encounters with Joseph Anton Koch, Friedrich Overbeck, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Bertel Thorvaldsen were important for his further work. In 1824, Oppenheim won the drawing competition of the Roman Accademia di San Luca – the prize, however, was withdrawn due to his nationality and faith. The same year in Naples, Oppenheim met Baron Carl Mayer von Rothschild, a member of the banking family from Frankfurt am Main, who went on to support him from there on out. In 1825, Oppenheim settled in Frankfurt, where he produced an extremely varied body of work. He dealt with religious, literary, historical as well as allegorical themes and genre scenes such as the “Pictures from Old Jewish Family Life” (1866). Oppenheim also achieved fame as a portraitist of the rising middle class. Among his most famous works are portraits of Ludwig Börne (1827), Heinrich Heine (1831) and above all those of the Rothschild family. Oppenheim died in Frankfurt in 1882 as a recognised and much-awarded artist.