Herz, Gottlieb (1810-1897)

Herz, Gottlieb (1810-1897)

Gottlieb Herz was a German artist predominantly known for his fine portraiture during the late Biedermeier period. He was of Jewish descent.

The Biedermeier period, between 1815 and 1848, saw the epic rise of ‘new money’, the emerging middle classes. This burgeoning group of merchants, industrialists and professionals, looked to create comfortable interiors, while also retaining a degree of decorum and modesty. Portraits were a key component of this image and artists like Herz were highly sought after. Details were key - every jewel rendered to perfection, each piece of embroidery exquisitely described. While ostentation was frowned upon, it was acceptable to display the rewards of one’s success.

Following his education in Düsseldorf, Herz headed for the bustling environs of Frankfurt to meet this growing demand. It’s where he married his wife, Franziska, and produced numerous works for affluent residents. His style was underpinned by solid draughtsmanship, he could draw exceedingly well, having studied the masters during his time at the Academy. But he also added a sense of character, a slight smile, a glint in the eye, a gentle demeanour, to communicate the spirit of each sitter.

Aside from portraits, Herz was a keen philanthropist and taught drawing at the ‘Das Philanthropin’, a Jewish school designed to help children from low-income families. It recruited teachers from the local community and supported students from kindergarten through to university entrance. Dr Jakob Weil was a colleague and sat for him in 1844.

Today, he’s represented in several public collections including the University of Milan and the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt.

Public Collections

University of Milan, Jewish Museum Frankfurt.



Born in Hildesheim, Germany, to Gottlieb Herz and Hannchen Herz (nee Marcus).

Trained at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.

Moved to Frankfurt to work primarily as a portraitist.


Married Franziska Trenel in Frankfurt. The pair would have at least three children.


Worked as a drawing teacher at the Frankfurt Girls School.


Died in Starkhütte, Germany.

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