Jump to content

August Friedrich Schenck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

August Friedrich Schenck
Born23 April 1828 Edit this on Wikidata
Glückstadt Edit this on Wikidata
Died1 January 1901 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 72)
Écouen Edit this on Wikidata
OccupationPainter Edit this on Wikidata
Stylelandscape painting Edit this on Wikidata
Spouse(s)Ludowika Stapaczinska

August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck (23 April 1828 – 1 January 1901) was a painter who was born in Glückstadt in the Duchy of Holstein, which at the time was under Danish control but part of the German Confederation. He lived and worked for most of his life in France.[1] He was both French and German by nationality.

Anguish, 1878, held at the National Gallery of Victoria

Schenck was a pupil of Léon Cogniet in France. He became well known for his landscapes and paintings of animals.[2] His works were first exhibited publicly in 1855.[3] Anguish,[4] perhaps his most famous painting, is an oil-on-canvas work showing a ewe grieving over the dead body of her lamb as they are encircled by ominous black crows.[5] It was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne in 1880.[4] In 1885 he became knight of the Legion of Honour.[6] Schenck died in Écouen near Paris.


As a young man, Schenck left Glückstadt, which was then still Danish, in order to earn a lucrative income as a "wine traveler" in Germany, Russia, and finally, Portugal. After five years he left Portugal for Paris, where he trained as a painter. He became a student of Léon Cogniet (1794-1880), a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts. Schenck then settled permanently in France.[7]

At the age of 27, he made his debut as a painter at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1855. In 1857, he took part in the Schleswig-Holstein anniversary exhibition. A successful creative period ensued. He was particularly famous for his paintings of animals. Schenck and the French painter Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899) were the most sought-after animal painters whose works were collected internationally.[citation needed]

Around 1862 Schenck and his wife, Ludowika Stapaczinska, who was born in Warsaw, settled in the town of Écouen, about 20 km north of Paris. The town was known as an artist colony. The École d’Écouen attracted well-known artists, including Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and Mary Cassatt. There are still traces of Schenck in Écouen today: Rue de la Beauvette, on which his property that contained his house and studio was located, was renamed Rue Auguste Schenck in 1906 to honor him. His painting L’Échir hangs in the town hall,[8][9] and his painting entitled, Lamb of God - Agnus dei, hangs in the church.[10][11]

Schenck was known nationwide during his lifetime, when major museums acquired his works. Since then his paintings have been acquired by museums internationally. Depicted in a painting he entitled, "Lost", is a flock of sheep attended by two dogs. In the foreground the sheep are shown huddled together during a blizzard and a religious sentiment is represented in the background by a monument with a cross. The painting now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

August Schenck died on 1 January 1901.[12] His grave is in Écouen, where a road (rue Auguste Schenck) is also named after him.[11]


  1. ^ "August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck". Netherlands Institute for Art History. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  2. ^ "August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck - Biography". askART. Retrieved 7 May 2021. Biography excerpted from the unpublished catalog by Edward P. Bentley for the Haussner Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, titled: Haussner's, The Children.
  3. ^ Clement, Clara Erskine; Hutton, Laurence (1893). Artists of the Nineteenth Century and Their Works (6 ed.). Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.
  4. ^ a b "Anguish (Angoisse)". National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  5. ^ Dowse, Nicola (15 April 2021). "The story behind the NGV's 'sad sheep painting' and the mysterious artist who painted it". Time Out Melbourne.
  6. ^ "Restoration of Schenck's Orphan". Musée d'Orsay. Archived from the original on 7 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.
  7. ^ Sass, Johann (1904). Schenck, August Friedrich Albert (in German). Georg Reimer. p. 151. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  8. ^ "La galerie de tableaux". Ville d'Ecouen. Archived from the original on 19 May 2011.
  9. ^ Searle, Peter. "L'ÉCHIR (1880)". Albert (or Albrecht) Schenck (1828-1901). Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Tableau de l'Agneau Mystique". Inventaire Général du Patrimoine Culturel (in French). Région Île-de-France. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Auguste Frédéric Albert Schenck-E". Les Peintres d'Ecouen. Association « L’Ecole d’Ecouen ». 3 December 2016. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  12. ^ Bénézit, Emmanuel, ed. (1924). "August Friedrich Schenck". Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays (in French). Paris: Ernest Gründ. p. 737.

External links[edit]