The New International Encyclopædia/Keller, Ferdinand (painter)

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KELLER, Ferdinand (1842—). A German historical painter, born at Karlsruhe. In 1857 he accompanied his father and brother to Brazil, and there sketched diligently from nature in the tropical forests. He returned to Karlsruhe in 1862, studied landscape painting under Schirmer, and then figure painting under Canon, whereupon he spent four years in Italy, mostly in Rome. His “Death of Philip II.” was awarded the first prize at the International Art Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. Besides some large landscape compositions, and numerous portraits, he next produced “Burning of Rome Under Nero” (1873, medal Vienna Exposition), and became more widely known through his successful competition for the painting of the curtain in the New Theatre at Dresden, which he executed in 1876. Then followed “Victory of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden Over the Turks at Salankamen. 1691” (1879, Karlsruhe Gallery); “Hero Finding the Body of Leander” (1880, Vienna Academy); and later “Apotheosis of William the Victorious” (1888, National Gallery, Berlin). He scored a great triumph with a large allegorical composition, representing the founding of the university in a “Triumphal Progress of Pallas Athene Before Elector Ruprecht” (1886), in the Aula of Heidelberg University. He was made professor at the School of Art in Karlsruhe, and ranks among the chief representatives of modern colorism in Germany.