She spent the time between 1822 and 1824 in Rome, where she became a disciple of Johann Friedrich Overbeck. After this journey, she started painting images, including Stoning of St. Stephen for the Church of St. Stephen in Karlsruhe. In 1829, she became court painter to Grand Duchess Sophie of Baden.
Ellenrieder returned to her home town in the 1840s and continued producing religious images. Her two paintings Der 12 jährige Jesus im Tempel / The 12 year old Jesus in the Temple of 1849 (oil on canvas, 203,2 x 139,7 cm) and Hl Felicitas und ihre sieben Söhne / Holy Felicitas and her Seven Sons of 1847 (oil on canvas, 127 x 177,8 cm) were acquired by Queen Victoria, who had been introduced to her work by the Prince Consort, who in turn had encountered the artist on his travels to Rome. They are now part of the Royal Collection in Osborne House.
She died in her home town of Konstanz in 1863.
The largest collection of the work of Marie Ellenrieder in the United States is held by the Jack Daulton Collection in Los Altos Hills, California.
- Sutherland Harris, Ann and Nochlin, Linda (1976). Women Artists: 1550-1950. New York: Knopf. p. 51.
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