Wilhelm von Kügelgen
1802 Saint Petersburg – Ballenstedt 1867

German painter, draughtsman and writer

Son of the portrait and history painter Gerhard von Kügelgen (1772-1820), who was killed in 1820. From 1818 Wilhelm von Kügelgen studied at the academy of arts in Dresden, first under his father and from 1820 under F. Hartmann (1774-1842).

1822 / 23 he stayed in Estonia to visit realtives of his mother's side. After he had finished his studies he went to Rome in 1825. There he lived in the Casa Buti - together with his former teacher C.A. Senff (1785-1863) and with B. Thorvaldsen (1770-1844). In 1826 he came back - via Florence and Venice - to Anhalt-Bernburg. In 1827 he married Julie Krummacher (1804-1909) and he had six children with her.

Frineds of Wilhelm von Kügelgen were L. Richter (1803-1884) and C.G. Peschel (1798-1879), whom he met in Rome, but also Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), who already was a pupil and friend of his father.

After a stay in Saint Peterburg he moved to Dresden in 1829, from 1830 he lived in a palace (Hermsdorf) nearby Dresden which was owned by a friend of him. From 1833 until 1853 he was court painter at Ballenstedt castle, the summer residence of the principality of Anhalt-Bernburg and until 1863 he took care of the mantally ill duke.

Wilhelm von Kügelgen is well-known especially for his "Jugenderinnerungen eines Alten Mannes", first published posthumously in 1870. This vivid description of bourgeois life in Germany during the early Romantic period became a bestseller and is published in countless editions till today.