Paul Von Franken (1818 Oberbachem – 1884 Düsseldorf)
Material: Oil on canvas/panel
Dimension: 25 x 36,5 cm
About the Artist:
Paul von Franken was born in 1818 in Oberbachem near Godesberg as the son of the mayor Wilhelm Hugo Von Franken and his wife Wilhelmina Regina Weiser. From 1826, the family bore the title of the nobility unjustly. Wilhelm Hugo Franken had just added the title of nobility to his name. Little is known about the painter’s youth.
Education in Düsseldorf
However, it is certain that he began his education at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1823. After living in Brussels and Antwerp in the years 1842 – 1845, von Franken lived from 1846 in Dresden where his painting The Preparation for Confession was shown at the Exhibition of the Academy of the Arts. Later on, von Franken accepted a position as an art teacher and in this way he became acquainted with his future wife, Helene Körber.
During this time, Franks firstly became more closely acquainted with the Caucasus. Its inexhaustible richness of nature and the people living there attracted the romantic strongly. The struggle of the Russians against the heroic leader of the mountain tribes, Imam Shamil and his Murids also aroused von Franken’s fantasies and awakened his desire to get to know the Caucasus. In 1853, the von Franken moved to St. Petersburg and Moscow to Tbilisi and settled here. Von Franken undertook several extended journeys in the Caucasus under whose influence he created most of his works. As a representative of late-romanticism, he was interested not only in landscape motifs but also in the strange manners and customs of the inhabitants of the Caucasus. The people who were still uninfluenced by western civilization exerted a great attraction on the now 34 years old artist.
On 8.11.1884, Paul von Franken died after a long illness in Düsseldorf. His wife took all the works concerning the Caucasus to Tbilisi, where they later became the property of the widely branched offspring of the two artists. These are mostly still there.