Delos Island, 1847

Carl Rottmann consummate master of landscape painting

Delos Island, 1847
Delos Island, 1847

Carl Rottmann consummate master of landscape painting and favorite painter of the Bavarian king Ludwig

Carl Rottmann (January 11, 1797 July 7, 1850) is a famous German artist of the first half of the 19th century, an outstanding master of the landscape genre. Karl Rothman became famous for writing watercolors and oil paintings, as well as wall paintings with images of nature in the spirit of romanticism. The best masterpieces of the painter’s work are now kept in museums in Germany, and the most extensive collection of his works is in the “New Pinakothek” in Munich. The master’s biography is full of fascinating travels across Europe. From which he brought many sketches and sketches for his works.


Karl Rothman has also been an outstanding mentor to young colleagues.

Among his students there are many famous painting masters, including:

  • Karl Lindemann-Frommel;
  • Karl Ludwig Seeger
  • August Löffler
  • August Seidel;
  • Franz Seidel.
Florence view
Florence view

Biography of Carl Rottmann

Carl Rottmann was born on January 11, 1797 in the town of Handschußheim in southern Germany. His father Friedrich (Friedrich Rottmann) was a self-taught artist who, in addition to painting, was fond of making prints. And a few years after the birth of Karl Rottmann Sr., he was appointed to the position of a drawing teacher at the university of neighboring Heidelberg.

It was the father who taught his son to paint and instilled in him a love of art. In 1815, 18-year-old Karl created the first independent work of landscape genre called “Heidelberg Castle”, which clearly showed the skill of the young artist. Studying with his father continued until 1821, after which Rotman Jr. decided to start an independent professional career and left for Munich.

Hoer Gel in alpine glow
Hoer Gel in alpine glow

In the capital of Bavaria lived a distant relative of the young painter Friedrich von Sckell, who held the prestigious position of manager of the royal park Hofgarten. 24-year-old Karl fell passionately in love with his daughter Frederica and achieved reciprocity from the young girl. Fortunately, the parents of the lovers were not against their wedding, and in 1824 the couple got married.

Lake Ammersee
Lake Ammersee
The artist’s marriage turned out to be not only happy, but also very profitable.

Thanks to his father-in-law, Karl Rothmann soon met the king of Bavaria, Ludwig I, who became the most influential patron of the painter. The monarch was very fond of paintings with beautiful views of the German Alps. And he acquired many of them for his personal collection.

In 1826, Ludwig I allocated funds for Rothmann’s creative trip to Italy, from where the artist brought many landscape sketches. Immediately upon his return from the Apennine Peninsula in 1827, Charles was commissioned to create a cycle of 28 fresco paintings for the royal park based on the materials brought. For six years, the master worked on the implementation of a large-scale order and brilliantly coped with the task.


Having paid generously for the work, the Bavarian monarch immediately found a new assignment for Rothman. In 1834, the king sent Charles to Greece, where his son Otto I had just ascended the throne. The artist was ordered by the highest command to collect materials for another series of frescoes, this time with views of Greek nature. For twelve months Karl traveled around Hellas, making sketches. And upon returning home he worked for about ten years on the creation of large-format landscapes.

Carl Rottmann. Taormina and Mount Etna
Taormina and Mount Etna
In addition to fulfilling royal orders, the talented master managed to paint oil paintings and watercolors.

In his workshop, young colleagues were gaining experience, including his younger brother Leopold (Leopold Rottmann), who later became a famous landscape painter.

The authoritative master of German painting built a successful professional career and became a very wealthy person. He enthusiastically created and made plans for the future, bathed in the rays of glory and led a calm measured life. But on July 7, 1850, Karl Rothman died suddenly from an unknown illness. The artist’s body was buried in the old southern cemetery of Munich, where his grave, decorated with a modest cross, is still located.

Carl Rottmann. Taormina
The most famous paintings by Karl Rothman

The skilful German landscape master has painted many beautiful works. And yet, the most famous paintings by Karl Rothman are:

  • “Heidelberg Castle” (1815) the earliest surviving works of the painter. The ancient residence of the Electors of the Palatinate is surrounded by an idyllic natural landscape dominated by green hues.
  • “Lake Kokhelskoe” (1825) the work is done in cold bluish-gray colors. The calm surface of the lake contrasts sharply with the majestic cliffs, whose peaks dominate the surrounding landscape.
  • Corfu (1837) is a landscape created by the master after a trip to Greece. In the foreground, the viewer sees a rider on a horse and two large trees, and in the distance a beautiful view of the sea bay and the town nestled on its shore opens up.
  • The Island of Delos (1847) is a landscape in which you can feel the frantic power and charm of unspoiled nature. Against its background, the shepherd and three sheep, who came to the watering hole to quench their thirst, are almost invisible.

Karl Rothmann is one of the greatest landscape painters in the history of German art. And his paintings still attract millions of people to the halls of art museums and large-scale exhibitions.

Carl Rottmann. View of Cefalu
View of Cefalu
Carl Rottmann. View of Palermo
View of Palermo
Carl Rottmann . Hoer Gol in the alpine glow
Hoer Gol in the alpine glow