Von Kaulbach, Friedrich August (1850-1920)

Von Kaulbach, Friedrich August (1850-1920)
Von Kaulbach, Friedrich August (1850-1920)

Friedrich August Von Kaulbach was one of the leading portrait painters of his generation. His portrayals are enchanting - expressive brushwork capturing nuanced characteristics and underlying spirit.

His style was born from an advanced understanding of the Old Masters, which he expressed with confidence and prowess. You see the energy of Velázquez filtered through a sense of true modernity.

As a result, commissions were numerous with many involving society ladies abundant with lavish drapery. Notable figures formed an orderly queue.

His popularity ultimately led to riches usually reserved for an artist’s paying clients. A palatial private villa, designed by Gabriel von Seidl, housed an impressive collection of antiques. Critics dubbed him a “prince of painters”.

Yet, behind the mist of haute couture, Von Kaulbach had a subtler aspect to his character usually reserved for his family. Several portrait studies of his children are testimony to his introspect.


Born in Munich to Friedrich Kaulbac, a highly regarded portrait painter.

Studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Nuremberg under Karl Raupp.


Studied under Wilhelm von Diez at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.


Lived in Italy for ten years.


Exhibited regularly in Paris.


Moved to Paris where he met Gustave Courbet.


Knighted by Prince Regent Leopold of Bavaria.


Architect Gabriel von Seidl built a palace for him.


Appointed head of the Munich Academy.


Produced a portrait of German Emperor, Wilhelm II.


Exhibited at the Universal Exhibition, Paris.


Died in Ohlstadt.

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