August Riedel

1799 - 1883

Place Born


Place Died



Born in Bayreuth, August Riedel was the son of an architect Carl Christian Riedel and the brother of another, Eduard Riedel. Bayreuth had been the capital of the Markgravate of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, a small state ruled by a cadet branch of the Hohenzollerns, but on the extinction of the ruling family it was incorporated into larger Brandenburg and the Kingdom of Prussia in 1791. In 1810, as part of the new territorial settlements following the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, Bayreuth was given to the recently formed Kingdom of Bavaria. Nonetheless, for its inhabitants, long-standing connections with the Prussian capital of Berlin were maintained and in artistic circles there was frequent interchange between the two. Thus while Riedel was born a subject of the King of Prussia, he made his career as a Bavarian subject, choosing in 1820 to enter the Munich Academy, in preference to that of Berlin. The Munich Academy was a more recent foundation than that in the Prussian capital, and its establishment had done much to make Munich, with Berlin and Dresden, the most important artistic centers in Germany. Indeed, the 19th century Kings of Bavaria proved among the most assiduous and generous patrons of the arts in Europe, culminating in the extravagant projects of Ludwig II.

Riedel’s first professor was P. van Lange, who encouraged him to travel to Italy, where he arrived in 1828, spending much of 1829 in Florence. In 1830-31 he returned to Munich, having obtained a commission to paint frescoes in the palace of Herzog Max im Bayern, but by 1832 had returned to Italy and settled in Rome. He continued to travel elsewhere, returning to Germany occasionally and also going to France and Belgium, but most of the remainder of his career was spent in Rome. There he formed a friendship with Léopold Robert and J. V. Schnetz, two French painters who had had considerable success at the Paris Salon and who were particularly renowned for their portrayals of idealized Italian peasants. While Riedel followed the conventions already established by Koch and other German landscapists in Rome, his use of a high-key palette made him popular with many contemporary collectors. His works were acquired not only by members of the Bavarian royal family, but a variety of German patrons so that today he is represented in Berlin, Braunschweig, Frankfurt, Hannover, Munich and Stuttgart as wellas the Throvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen.

Art Works Sold

A View of the Bay of Salerno from Behind

Sold or not Available
Historical Period: 1810-1870 Romanticism
A View of the Bay of Salerno from Behind