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Sold at Auction: Adolf Schreyer

Alias:Christian Adolf SchreyerAdolph Christian Schreyer
Horse painterBattle painterAnimal painterLandscape painter


(b Frankfurt, Germany, 1828; d Kronberg, Germany, 1899) German painter. Renowned for his dynamic and atmospheric paintings of horses and battles, as well as masculine depictions of Arab warriors, Adolf Schreyer occupies a special place in the Orientalist genre. He began his studies in his native Germany as a military and landscape painter at the Städelsche Kunstinstitute in Frankfurt, later continuing his training in Stuttgart, Munich and Düsseldorf where his lessons even included riding and horse anatomy. These lessons would serve him well as his artistic career was spent following various military campaigns of the Austrian army. In the late 1840s, he was called to travel with Prince Thurn and his regiment through Hungary, Wallachia and southern Russia and in 1854 during the Crimean War, he followed the regiment onto the battlefield as an official war artist. The early 1860s found Schreyer travelling through North Africa, Egypt and Syria where he thoroughly immersed himself in Bedouin life, mastering various Arab dialects as well as taking on their customs and dress. Not surprisingly, the mountainous and arid landscape of these regions proved to be a rich source of imagery for his paintings. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Schreyer returned to his native Germany and actively painted until his death in 1899. Due to his successful career, he was appointed court painter to the Grand Duke of Mecklenberg and was offered membership to both the Amsterdam and Rotterdam Academies. (Credit: Christie’s, New York, 19th Century European Art, April 19, 2005, lot 55)
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