Carl Julius Senff (1804–1832) – ein Kurzes Künstlerleben als Architekt, Zeichner und Grafiker


  • Gerd-Helge Vogel



Carl Julius Senff, Italian Trips, Alma Mater Tartuensis, Baltic Art And Architecture


Carl Julius Senff was a talented artist with wide-ranging knowledge of art and architecture, who first received art lessons from his father Carl August Senff in Tartu. From 1823 to 1827, Carl Julius Senff studied philosophy at the University of Tartu and illustrated several publications while still a student. For example, in 1825 he published a textbook on perspective called Perspective für Landschaftsmaler zum Selbststudium.

Although Carl Julius Senff’s life was cut short, he was still able to travel extensively. In 1829, he travelled to Jena for three years where he acquired a doctoral degree in philosophy. His earliest drawings also date from this period and, based on them, we can also partially reconstruct the route of his travels. From Jena, he travelled to Prague, Vienna and Munich. In 1831, he travelled to Italy where he lived in Rome. The young artist and scholar was destined to become the new professor of architecture at the University of Tartu but, unfortunately, Carl Julius Senff fell ill during his last trip and died in Milan.

The article is based to a great degree on unpublished archival documents as well as the personal correspondence of Carl Julius Senff and his father Carl August Senff.


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Author Biography

Gerd-Helge Vogel

Gerd-Helge Vogel (b. 1951), Assistant Professor (lecturer) Emeritus at the Zurich University of Applied Arts (ZHdK), Switzerland, and Greifswald University, Germany. In 1999 and 2002, he was Assistant Professor / Lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn. The organiser of many conferences on the Romantic movement and curator of numerous exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, he has also published extensively on the art of the Enlightenment, the Romantic movement, history of gardening, scientific illustrations and poster art.