German Painter Adolf von Menzel (1815-1905)
One of the most successful German artists of his time, Adolph von Menzel took over the lithographic business after his father's death at the age of 17. In 1833 he enrolled in the Berlin Academy of Art, but studied there only about 6 months. However, his first artwork - an album of drawings reproduced on stone - was published in 1833. By 1850s, the artist was considered as one of the first illustrators of his day.
The king Frederick William IV commisioned the painter him to illustrate the works of Frederick the Great. Also Menzel was invited to paint the ceremony of the Coronation of William I at Koenigsberg.
The French master Edgar Degas called him "the greatest living master" and copied and admired his artworks.
In 1898 Menzel became the first painter admitted to the Order of the Black Eagle and was raised to the nobility, becoming "Adolph von Menzel".
In 1905, the Kaiser arranged his funeral and walked behind the painter's coffin.
Despite all the honors Menzel felt quite socially estranged, probably, due to the physical reasons - he was about 4'6" with a large head.
After his death in 1905 in Berlin, his funeral arrangements were directed by the Kaiser, who walked behind his coffin
In Germany his popularity was such that few of his canvases left the country as most of them had been quickly purchased by Berlin museums.