Samuel Amsler, Portrait of Carl Philipp Fohr, an engraving

AD 1818

Carl Philipp Fohr (1795-1818) came from Heidelberg and spent some time in Munich before arriving in Rome in 1816; his most famous works are portrait drawings of the Nazarenes, a group of German artists working in Rome, whose name was coined because of their partiality for biblical subjects, their life at the sixteenth-century monastery of S Isidoro in Rome, and their long cloaks and flowing hair.

This is one of the earliest attempts to revive Dürer's engraving technique. Most of the portrait drawings by the Nazarenes were made as personal records of friendship and hardly any were engraved at the time. Fohr's tragic death at the age of twenty-two in a swimming accident in the Tiber, witnessed by his friends Samuel Amsler (1791-1849) and Carl Barth (1787-1853), provided the occassion for this print, which was made to raise funds to erect a monument to Fohr.

Goethe owned an impression of this print and is said to have 'praised extravagantly the exact technique of the engraving, but at the same time he found many deficencies in it, and an underlying false mannerism in the drawing and handling.' While he appreciated the quality of technique, the Nazarenes were at this point too radical for him.

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More information


G. Bartrum (ed.), Albrecht Dürer and his legacy: (London and N.J., The British Museum Press and Princeton University Press, 2002)


Height: 150.000 mm
Width: 117.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1993-6-20-8



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