Nazarenes (Brotherhood of St. Luke)
NAZARENES (BROTHERHOOD OF ST. LUKE)
A group of 19th-century German painters inspired by Christian faith and German nationalism to paint in imitation of the Italian Quattrocento masters. Although they predated the full Romantic movement, their spirit is one of studied return to another age as an ideal, with the additional sentimental confusion of religio-ethical and aesthetic values. The leader of the Brotherhood was Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789–1869), who as a disciple of Friedrich schlegel was converted to Catholicism (1813). Protesting the academic instruction at the Vienna Academy, Overbeck, with Franz Pforr and Ludwig Vogel, left Germany for Rome in 1810, intending to revive Christian fresco painting in the "simple and pure" style of perugino and Raphael. They lived a communal life in the convent of San Isidoro, where they were joined by other disciples: W. von Schadow, the Veit brothers, J. D. Passavant, J. Führich, Schnorr von Carolsfeld, and Peter von Cornelius (1783–1867). As a group they produced two murals: a "Joseph in Egypt" cycle (Casa Bartoldi 1816), and a "Dante and Tasso" cycle (Villa Massimi 1817–27). Overbeck and Cornelius are known also for their individual works, e.g., Overbeck's fresco in the Portiuncula, Assisi. Although these two later renounced the ideals of the brotherhood, its spirit lived on in English Pre-Raphaelitism.
Bibliography: g. dehio, Geschichte der deutschen Kunst, 4v. (Berlin 1934) v.4. h. focillon, Le Peinture aux XIX e et XX e siècles du réalisme à nos jours (Paris 1928). m. howitt, Friedrich Overbeck, 2 v. (Freiburg 1886). a. kuhn, Peter Cornelius und die geistigen Strömungen seiner Zeit (Berlin 1921). h. geller, Die Bildnisse der deutschen Künstler in Rom 1800–1830 (Berlin 1952). k. simon, u. thieme, and f. becker, eds., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 v. (Leipzig 1907–38) 7:432–438. p. f. schmidt, ibid., 26:104–106.
[m. m. michels]