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Heinrich Theodor Wehle

1778 Förstgen (Upper Lusatia) – 1805 Bautzen

The outstanding artistic talent of the Sorbian landscape painter, draughtsman and etcher, Heinrich Theodor Wehle, was recognised early on. Wehle received his initial training at the Görlitz School of Drawing and from the landscape painter, Christoph Nathe. He subsequently enrolled at the Academy of Art in Dresden, where he studied under the landscape artist, Johann Christian Klengel. The recipient of effusive praise, he would surely have had a glorious career had he not met an untimely death at the age of twenty-six. His early works earned him the reputation of a first-class draughtsman and landscape painter. As a result he was first appointed a draughtsman at the Chalkographische Gesellschaft in Dessau in 1799. Two years later he took up a post at the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg at the behest of the Russian tsar. From here Wehle was sent together with the scientist, Count Apollos Mussin-Puschkin, on a study trip to the Russian parts of Western Asia, including Georgia and the Caucasus. Here Wehle made numerous topographically precise landscape studies, but he also produced ideal Arcadian landscapes.