The New International Encyclopædia/Spitzweg, Karl

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SPITZWEG, spĭts'vắK, Karl (1808-85). A German genre and landscape painter, one of the most original figures in the art world of Munich, the most genial exponent of the humorous genre. Born and educated in Munich, he dispensed drugs for several years, then studied at the university, and in 1833 was won to art by his accidental surroundings in a watering place. Under the introductory guidance of the historical painter Hansonn (1791-1863), he took to brush and palette, but, practically self-taught, developed his rare talent for the depiction of those inimitable types of German philistinism amusingly associated with his name. On the establishment of the Fliegende Blätter in 1844, he became one of its most diligent contributors, whose incomparable humorous drawings were for years the delight of the entire reading world. Among his finely colored pictures of old bachelors, bookworms, hermits, etc., and his poetic landscapes with fanciful accessories, may be mentioned: “The Poor Poet” (1837), “Two Hermits” and a “Scholar in the Attic” (1882), all in the Pinakothek, Munich; “Spanish Serenade,” “The Hypochrondriac,” “Herd-Girls on an Alp,” and “Turkish Coffee-House,” all in the Schack Gallery, Munich; “Going to Church Near Dachau” (1802), in Dresden; “His Reverence” and “Village Street,” both in the National Gallery, Berlin. Reproductions of his works appeared in the collections Spitzweg Mappe (Munich, 1887) and Spitweg Album (ib., 1888). Consult: Regnet, in Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst (Leipzig, 1880), and Holland, in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, xxxv. (ib., 1893).