Carl August Senff (1770–1838) im Kontext der Deutschen Kunst und sein Wirken in Tartu (Dorpat)
Carl August Senff is among the most important artists of Academic
Neoclassicism in the Baltic region. As drawing master at the University of Tartu, he conveyed the artistic experience he had acquired, primarily during his years in Saxony in Leipzig and Dresden, to a significant number of students. In this way, Senff established the basis for the independent development of the arts in Estonia.
This essay examines Senff’s early artistic roots in Germany and draws attention to the close, personal relations with his artist friends who served as a fundamental source, guiding light, and creative impulse for his own drawing and painting throughout his life. Senff’s stylistic development began with a sentimental neoclassicism that gradually transformed into Biedermeier realism. Portraits and landscapes in various techniques were Senff’s preferred genres, especially as graphic prints. Senff’s mastery of the new technique of lithography became an
important model for his many students.