In the Troops' Quarters outside Paris

Anton von Werner1894

Alte Nationalgalerie, National Museums in Berlin

Alte Nationalgalerie, National Museums in Berlin

This work goes back to Werner’s time with a support command in Versailles twenty-four years earlier during the Franco-Prussian War. Protected by the court and specially chosen as the iconographer of the birth of the German nation as a state, Werner, who had been the director of the Art Academy since 1875, had meanwhile become the “Art Pope” of Germany in the late 1890s and provoked bitter opposition both from founders of the Secession and from dealers in international art. The picture shows German soldiers making music in the salon of an elegant chateau that they have requisitioned in Brunoy. Werner, like the “Landeskunstkommission” (Regional Art Commission), which purchased this work the same year it was painted, was well aware of the popular-ity of war pictures. But what becomes clear with hindsight is that the painting provides more than emotional relief: unintentionally, the discrepancy between the fine Second Empire interior and the rough behavior of the officers, including their attempts to be cultivated, in fact relativizes the victors’ pathos.

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  • Title: In the Troops' Quarters outside Paris
  • Creator: Anton von Werner
  • Date Created: 1894
  • Physical Dimensions: w158.0 x h120.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A I 521
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist dates: Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
  • Artist biography: Anton Werner was a German painter in the Kingdom of Prussia. He started his artistic education as a student painter in 1857 and studied painting at the Acadamy of the Arts in Berlin. In Karlsruhe he continued his studies under Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Ludwig Des Coudres and Adolf Schroedter. He later spent some time in Italy and Paris where he was fascinated by modern French painting. In 1870, when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, he went to France and remained there until the end of the campaign one year later. In 1867 he took part in the Great Exhibition and studied the works of artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Ernest Meissonier and Léon Cognie. He was appointed professor at the Academy of the Arts in Berlin in 1873 and after three years became its director. From 1888 until his death he served in the court of Wilhelm II. In 1909 von Werner succeeded Hugo von Tschudi as director of the National Gallery (now Alte Nationalgalerie). Among his most famous artworks rank 'Proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles' (1877) and 'Sedan Panorama' (1883).
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
  • Artist Dates: 1843-05-09/1915-01-04


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