The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg
The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg

The Bookworm c1851 by German Painter Carl Spitzweg (1808 – 1885); considered to be one of the most important artist of the Biedermeier (1815 – 1848) era; as well as a Romantic Genre painter.

This is the second of three version of this piece that he created; the first being done in 1850. With this second version having more dynamic shadows and lighting as the book worm stands on a rolling ladder reading through different books he has in in hands, between his legs and underneath his left arm. The third version is believed to have been painted in 1854 and is currently in a private collection.

This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Info Below From

Spitzweg was born in Unterpfaffenhofen, near Munich, Bavaria, the second of three sons of Franziska (née Schmutzer) and Simon Spitzweg. His father, a wealthy merchant, had Carl trained as a pharmacist. He attained his qualification from the University of Munich but, while recovering from an illness, he took up painting.

Spitzweg was self-taught as an artist, starting out by copying the works of Flemish masters. He contributed his first work to satiric magazines. Upon receiving an inheritance in 1833, he was able to dedicate himself to painting.

Later, Spitzweg visited European art centers in Prague, Venice, Paris, London, and Belgium studying the works of various artists and refining his technique and style. His later paintings and drawings are often humorous genre works. Many of his paintings depict sharply characterized eccentrics, for example The Bookworm (1850) and The Hypochondriac (c. 1865, in the Neue Pinakothek, Munich).

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