The Remy family. 1776
Architecture Artist

Januarius Zick – a brilliant German master of fresco painting

The Remy family. 1776
The Remy family. 1776

Januarius Zick – a brilliant German master of fresco painting, easel painting and arts and crafts of the XVIII century

Januarius Zick (February 6, 1730 – November 14, 1797) – a famous German painter of the second half of the 18th century, an outstanding representative of the Baroque style. He was famous for creating frescoes for churches, monasteries and palaces. The best masterpieces of the master’s work are now in museums in Germany.

Januarius Zik, in addition to painting, was engaged in arts and crafts for many years. In collaboration with the famous furniture maker David Roentgen, he created a number of unique marquetry furnishings that are of great interest to collectors today.

Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 1765
Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 1765


Januarius Zick was born on February 6, 1730 in Munich, where his father served as court painter to Cardinal Johann Theodor of Bavaria. The boy was very fond of drawing and willingly helped Tsik Sr. to paint the interiors of various buildings to order, learning the basics of painting. The happy childhood of Januarius at the age of 14 was overshadowed by a terrible tragedy when his younger brother, while painting the ceiling of the Weingarten Church, fell off the scaffolding and fell to his death.

In 1745, the young Zik got a job as an apprentice to the master Jacob Emele, under whose guidance he worked for three years on the construction of a church in Ummerdorf. Then he returned to work with his father and, together with him, painted walls at various objects.

Januarius Zick Peasant dance. 1755
Peasant dance. 1755

In the mid-1750s, he began to paint, but soon found that he lacked knowledge and left for Paris, which at that time was the recognized center of European painting. Tsik lived in the capital of France for about three years, got acquainted with the works of the best masters of the Baroque style, after which he returned to his homeland.

Having completed a number of orders for the rulers of the Principality of the Palatinate, in 1760 Januarius Zik received an invitation from Trier from the local bishop to take the position of court painter and accepted the tempting offer without hesitation. He settled in the small town of Ehrenbrenstein, married the landowner’s daughter Anna Gruber and lived here until his death. In marriage, he had fourteen children, but only his son Konrad continued his father’s work, becoming a famous German portrait and landscape painter.

From time to time, the master left Ehrenbrenstein to create unique fresco paintings in nearby towns and villages.

Frescoes in the parish church of St. Veren in Roth an der Roth, 1784
Frescoes in the parish church of St. Veren in Roth an der Roth, 1784

The unique monumental masterpieces of Tsik in temples and palaces have survived to this day:

  • Neuwied and Essen;
  • Riedlingen and Koblenz;
  • Ottobeuren and Elchingen;
  • Mainz and Schwerzen;
  • Ulm, Tryfenstein and many other settlements located in the southwest of modern Germany.
Januarius Zick Baroque writing desk, 1770s
Baroque writing desk, 1770s

Despite the huge workload, the artist throughout his professional career found time for easel painting. He created hundreds of oil paintings in different genres:






Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 1765
Presentation of Christ in the Temple, 1765

In addition, from the mid-1770s, Zik successfully collaborated with the famous cabinetmaker David Roentgen, for whom he developed sketches and designed inlaid paintings to order.

Until his death, the brilliant German remained a sought-after artist and earned a decent fortune, which he left to his heirs. And on November 14, 1797, Januarius Zik died in his own house in Ehrenbrenstein, surrounded by relatives at the age of 67.

Januarius Zick Dispute in a pub. 1755
Dispute in a pub. 1755