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Wilhelm von Kobell

1766 Mannheim – 1855 Munich

The painter, draughtsman and etcher, Wilhelm von Kobell, was first trained to draw landscapes by his father, Ferdinand Kobell, before continuing his studies in the early 1780s at the Mann­heim Academy of Drawing, where he also became acquainted with the art of etching. In his early years as a painter and draughtsman Kobell was greatly influenced by 17th century Dutch landscape painters such as Philips Wouwerman and Nicolaes Berchem, whose works he had seen while still a young man in collections in Mannheim and Zweibrücken. Kobell also enhanced his skills by studying nature in situ. In 1792 Karl Theodor, Elector of Palatinate and Bavaria, appointed him court painter. A year later the artist moved to Munich, where he was made professor of landscape painting at the Academy in 1814. He was raised to the peerage in 1817 and made a member of the hereditary nobility in 1833.