Gerhard von Kugelgen

Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen (February 26, 1772 – March 27, 1820) was a German painter, noted for his portraits and history paintings. He was a professor at the Academy of Arts in Dresden and a member of both the Prussian and Russian Academies of Arts. His twin brother, Karl von Kügelgen, was also a painter of note.

Gerhard von Kügelgen was born at Bacharach am Rhein. After leaving school in 1789, he studied painting in Koblenz. Beginning in 1791, he worked in Bonn, where he painted portraits of Elector Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria, minister Ferdinand August von Spiegel zum Desenberg, and the Earl of Waldstein. Afterwards, Gerhard von Kügelgen and his brother undertook an educational journey to Rome, Munich and Riga, which was financed by Maximilian Franz of Habsburg.

In 1800, Kügelgen married Helene Marie Zoege von Manteuffel. They had three children together. His first son, Wilhelm was born in Saint Petersburg in 1802, and also grew up to become a painter. The other children were Gerhard (born 1806), and Adelheid (born 1808).Portrait of Caspar David Friedrich.

During his career, Gerhard von Kügelgen painted portraits of Caspar David Friedrich, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, August von Kotzebue, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Gottfried Seume, Ludwig Uhland, Zacharias Werner, Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Carl Simon Morgenstern and other writers, artists and scholars of his time. After moving to Dresden, Kügelgen's villa 'Gottessegen' became a meeting place for artists and adherents of early romanticism. He was also an instructor and friend of Caspar David Friedrich.

In 1820, Kügelgen was killed by a thief while en route from his studio in Loschwitz to Dresden. He is buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery in Dresden.

The asteroid 1131Kügelgen is named after him and his son Wilhelm.

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