Alexander Kotzebue

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Alexander Kotzebue (1857)

Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm Franz von Kotzebue (Russian Александр Евстафиевич Коцебу - Alexander Ewstafijewitsch Kotzebu ; 9 June 1815, Königsberg - 24 August 1889, Munich) was a German-Russian Romantic painter of historical scenes and battle scenes.


Alexander von Kotzebue was the son of the playwright August von Kotzebue. On August's death in 1819, Alexander was educated in the Cadet Corps in St Petersburg, leaving it in 1834 as a Gardeleutnant. However, four years later, in 1838, he moved to an artistic career and began his artistic training at the St Petersburg Academy under Alexander Sauerweid. He spent six years at the St Petersburg Academy and at the end of them, in 1844, exhibited his first painting, The Storming of Warsaw, in St Petersburg.

He then went to continue his studies in Paris in 1846 and to Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany in 1848, before finally settling in Munich. There he became imperial professor of Russian and an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. He painted several large-scale works for the Russian tsar of Russian battles in the Seven Years' War and the campaigns of Alexander Suvorov. The most important of these are considered to be the Storming of Schlüsselburg, Battle of Poltawa, Storming of Narva, Crossing of the Devil's Bridge and Founding of St Petersburg (Maximilianeum, Munich). Kotzebue is buried in Munich's Alter Südfriedhof.

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