Friedrich Ludwig von Maydells Brief aus Rom vom Jahr 1823


  • Moonika Teemus University of Tartu



Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell, Ungern-Sternberg Family, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Nazarene Movement, Biographies, Source Publication


The article studies a letter from Friedrich Ludwig von Maydell (1795– 1846), the most renowned representative of Romanticism in Estonia, to his uncle Otto Christian Sigismund von Ungern-Sternberg (1778–1861), written in Rome at the beginning of the year 1823. It was the turning point in Maydell’s life when he had decided to give up the studies in law at the University of Tartu and to devote himself to art. For this reason, Maydell like many of his contemporaries travelled to Rome. In his letter, now preserved in the National Archives in Tartu, Maydell describes his everyday life in Rome and the efforts he has made to “follow his true path”. Additionally, it appears that it was the founder and leader of the Nazarene movement, Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789–1869), who played an influential role in Maydell’s decision about whether or not to become an artist.


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Author Biography

Moonika Teemus, University of Tartu

Moonika Teemus (M.A.) is an Estonian art historian focusing mainly on the history of visual culture in Estonia in the period 1800–1850. Librarian and the curator of art collection at the University of Tartu Library.