Ferdinand Brütt

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At the Bourse (1888)
Before the Judges (1903)

Ferdinand Martin Cordt Brütt (13 July 1849, Hamburg - 6 November 1936, Bergen) was a German painter. He was a distant relative of the sculptor Adolf Brütt.

Life and work[edit]

He took his first art lessons at the Hamburg School of Applied Arts, where he studied with Günther Gensler [de] and Friedrich Heimerdinger [de].[1] On their recommendation, he transferred to the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School in 1870, where his teachers were Albert Baur [de], Karl Gussow and the history painter Ferdinand Pauwels. Baur would be particularly influential in forming Brütt's mature style.

When Baur accepted a professorship at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Brütt went with him and became a specialist in painting courtroom scenes. He was able to draw from his own experiences, having spent quite a bit of time on jury duty, developing the genre based on earlier work by Louis Gallait and Hendrik Leys.

In 1889, he took an extended study trip to Italy where he found himself less inspired by the "Old Masters" than he was by the landscapes. This prompted further trips to the Alps and the North Sea. In 1893, he was appointed a Royal Prussian Professor.[1]


In 1898, his friend Anton Burger invited him to stay at the Kronberger Artists' Colony in Kronberg im Taunus. He lived and worked there until 1920. He executed several municipal commissions in Frankfurt from 1905 to 1913, including several large wall and ceiling decorations for various public buildings and designs for the Bürgersaale (Civic Hall) in the Rathaus.[1] In 1920, he went to live with his son, a District Court Councillor, in Bergen.

His style may generally be described as impressionistic, although he preferred scenes with large crowds in urban or indoor settings. His initial phase extended through the 1880s, when he developed an interest in more subtle displays of light and color. After 1902, he concentrated on large landscapes.


Further reading[edit]

  • Josef A. Beringer: Ferdinand Brütt zum 70. Geburtstag des Künstlers, 13. Juli 1919. Velhagen & Klasing, Braunschweig 1919.
  • August Wiederspahn: Die Kronberger Malerkolonie. Kramer, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-7829-0183-5.
  • Alexander Bastek: Ferdinand Brütt und das Städtisch-bürgerliche Genre um 1900, VDG, Weimar, 2007 ISBN 978-3-897395-50-3 Description [1] in the VDG catalog.
  • Exhibition Catalog: Ferdinand Bütt. Erzählung und Impression. König, Cologne 2007, ISBN 978-3-86568-230-7.

External links[edit]