Military Wiki

Alexander Sauerweid, by Bogdan Willewalde (early 1840s)

The Siege of Varna (1836)

Alexander Sauerweid (Russian: Александр Иванович Зауервейд; 19 February 1783, Kurland - 25 October 1844, Saint Petersburg) was a Baltic German painter who taught battle painting at the Russian Imperial Academy of Arts.


In 1795, when Kurland was annexed by Russia, his family moved to Germany where he received his artistic training at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts from 1806 to 1812.[1] As a young man, he enjoyed some popularity and produced a series of horse portraits, commissioned by Napoleon. He later went to Paris, travelling most of the way on foot for lack of funds, then to London, where his talent for painting battle scenes was recognized. In 1814, Czar Alexander I invited him to Saint Petersburg to paint official portraits of Russian troops and their uniforms. In 1825, he became the first Painter of the General Staff.[1]

In 1827, he was named an honorary member of the Imperial Academy and soon became head of the battle painting class. Later he was elevated to full Professor.[1] Under Czar Nicholas I, he was Art Instructor for the Grand Dukes Konstantin, Nicholas and Michael.

Most of his paintings were displayed in the Imperial Palaces, rather than in exhibitions. The majority are still there. His sense of perspective has been criticized, but his horses are considered to be particularly well done. In addition to oil paintings, he left behind many watercolors, etchings and drawings in pen. His son Nikolay also became a painter of military scenes.


Further reading/sources

  • Thomas Hemmann: Der Krieg in Sachsen 1809 dargestellt von Geißler und Sauerweid. BoD (2011) ISBN 978-3-8423-7388-4

In the original Russian, this article incorporates material from the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890-1907)

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).