Schwind, Moritz Von (1804-1871) by Scholes, Robert

Moritz Von Schwind (1804 – 1871) He was born and raised in Vienna, where he became friendly with Schubert, whose songs he illustrated. In 1828 he removed to Munich, where he profited from the friendship of the painter Schnorr and the guidance of Cornelius, then director of the academy. In 1834 he received the commission to decorate King Ludwig’s new palace with wall paintings illustrative of the poet Tieck. He also worked on illustrations to Goethe and other writers. He decorated a villa at Leipzig with the story of Cupid and Psyche, and further justified his title of poet-painter by designs from the Niebelungenlied and Tasso’s Gerusalemme for the walls of the castle of Hohenschwangau in the Bavarian Tirol. In 1844 he moved to Frankfort. In 1847 Schwind returned to Munich on being appointed professor in the academy. Eight years later his fame was at its height on the completion in the castle of the Wartburg of wall pictures illustrative of the Singers Contest and of the history of Elizabeth of Hungary. The compositions received universal praise, and at a grand musical festival in their honor Schwind himself played among the violins. In 1857 he visited England to report officially to King Ludwig on the Manchester art treasures. And so diversified were his gifts that he turned his hand to church windows and joined his old friend Schnorr in designs for the painted glass in Glasgow cathedral. Schwind died at Munich in 1871, and was buried in the old Friedhof of that city.

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