ADAM, Albrecht - b. 1786 Nördlingen, d. 1862 München - WGA

ADAM, Albrecht

(b. 1786 Nördlingen, d. 1862 München)

German painter, part of a family of painters. Albrecht Adam had four sons who were artists: Benno Adam (1812-1892), Franz Adam (1815-1886), Eugen Adam (1817-1880), and Julius Adam (1826-1874). Albrecht’s brother Heinrich Adam (1787-1862) was also an artist. Richard Benno Adam (1873-1937) was the grandson of Benno Adam.

Albrecht Adam trained under Christoph Zwinger (1744-1813) in Nuremberg, and in 1807 he moved to Munich to continue his studies. From 1809 he worked in Milan, following his appointment as court painter to Eugène de Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy, whom he accompanied to Russia in 1812.

After returning to Munich in 1815, he executed a series of 83 small battle-pieces in oil on paper, based on sketches made in 1812. His Russian exploits also provided the material for a set of 100 lithographs entitled Voyage pittoresque et militaire de Willenberg en Prusse jusqu’a Moscou (1827-33), produced with the assistance of his sons Franz and Benno, which helped to establish his contemporary reputation.

In Munich, Albrecht’s patrons included Maximilian I and his successor, Ludwig I of Bavaria, at whose behest Albrecht painted the Battle of Borodino for the Munich Residenz. For the palace in St Petersburg of Maximilian, Duc de Leuchtenberg, he executed 12 large battle-pieces. Other commissions took him to Stuttgart in 1829 and to Mecklenburg in 1838.

After 1848 he was employed as a battle painter by Marshal Radetzky and by Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria, of whom he also produced several portraits during his residence in Vienna from 1855 to 1857. In 1859 he followed the army of Napoleon III during the Italian campaign against the Austrians, which he recorded in a series of drawings and sketches. On his return to Munich he painted the Battle of Landshut (1858-59) for Archduke Charles Ludwig and the Battle of Zorndorf (1859-62; Munich, Maximilianum) for King Maximilian II.

In his later years, many of his pictures were painted in collaboration with his sons.