He studied in Berlin under Carl Steffeck, and in Weimar under Arthur von Ramberg, Charles Verlat and Bernhard Plockhorst. He took part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and after a visit to Italy, in 1873, returned to Weimar, where he was made professor at the School of Art in 1881. Called to Berlin in 1885 as instructor at the Prussian Academy of Arts, he was awarded the gold medal in 1886 for his allegorical ceiling painting in the Exhibition Building. In 1889 he became a member of and professor at the Prussian Academy.
Among several other decorative works on a large scale are “The Diet of Worms” (1892), in the Aula (auditorium) of the gymnasium at Wittenberg, and the two mural paintings “Art and Science,” and “Book-Trade and Printing,” in the Booksellers' Exchange at Leipzig. A series of landscapes and genre pictures in water-colors and the illustrations to his work Sechs Monate in Indien (1893) were the fruits of a journey to India.
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- Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1906). "Friedrich, Woldemar". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
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