Johann Georg von Dillis
1759 Grüngiebing / Munich – Munich 1841

German painter and draughtsman

From 1777-1781 Dillis studied philosophy and theology in Ingolstadt and Munich. 1782 he was ordained priest. After that he was trained in drawing under J.J. Dorner the elder (1741-1813). From 1786 he gave drawing lessons for noble families in Munich. Benjamin Thompson Graf von Rumford (1753-1814) became his sponsor and so he was able to travel around Switzerland and the Upper Rhine valley.

In 1790 he became a curator at the elector's art gallery in Munich. He travelled to Salzburg, Saxony, Dresden, Prague, and Vienna. 1794/95 he stayed in Rome, 1805 he travelled through Italy for the second time. At that time he met the artists J.A. Koch (1768-1839), A. Kauffmann (1741-1807) and B. Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) in Rome.

In 1806 he visited Paris and Southern France. In 1808 he became a professor for landscape painting at the academy of arts in Munich and in the same year he was raised to the peerage. More travels to Italy, also for a longer time, he made until 1837.

From 1822 he was the first director of the art galleries in Munich, 1826 he was involved in the foundation of the Pinakothek in Munich and in the years 1834/35 it was his business to select the pictures for the new museum of art.

With his paintings made in nature (en plein air) Dillis belongs to the founders of the new Munich school of landscape painters.


Christoph Heilmann (ed.) and Barbara Hartwig, Johann Georg Dillis: 1759 - 1841; Landschaft und Menschenbild. Munich, Prestel, 1991.