Gerhardt Wilhelm von Reutern
1794 - 1865
The Platzburschen Wilhelm Völcker and Ludwig Dörr
c. 1825 - 28
Pen and ink on paper
188 × 195 mm. (7 ⅜ × 7 ⅝ in.)
Further information:Revolution & Renewal
The artist's life-story fits perfectly within this theme. Reutern's life was lived during a revolutionary period of upheaval; indeed, he lost his right arm at the Battle of Leipzig in 1812. Renewal for him came from teaching himself to paint and draw with his left-hand during his convalescence, a painstaking process testament to his dedication and character. A second renewal came in 1815 when Reutnern met Goethe, with the poet awakening in the young man a love of nature and a realisation of his true vocation of an artist. Reutern moved multiple times over his life: born in Livonia, he lived in St Petersburg, Paris, Baden Baden, Düsseldorf, Berne, Willinghausen (where this study was made) and Frankfurt. Each move brought with it a renewal in his circumstances, acquaintances, interests and artistic subjects.