A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Carl Trost (German, 1811 – 1884) “A Midsummer Nights Dream” Oil on canvas 44 X 35 3/4 inches framed

He was the son of a genius officer who initially worked in Hesse and then in Danish service. In 1817 the family moved to Northern Haiti at the invitation of King Henri Christophe, who had offered his father a position as an artillery officer. The local population, with their mixed French and Haitian language, and the diverse tropical nature exerted a lasting influence on the child. The family only managed to survive in the unfamiliar environment with great difficulty and to survive some tropical diseases. By falling from a horse, the child also got a broad forehead scar for life. After three years, his father asked for his release, fell out of favor and the family was imprisoned in the Fort Royal near Sans Souci. It was there that Carl made his first studies in drawing. In 1820, after the king’s suicide, the family were released and given permission to return to Germany. Via Bremen and Fulda she reached Kassel, where the 16-year-old Carl was accepted into the family of his uncle, the court judge Friedrich Meisterlin, and was given the basics of further education.

In 1830 Trost moved to Munich to devote himself to history painting at the art academy there and with Peter von Hess. In 1834 he moved to Düsseldorf at the art academy there. In 1838 he went to Frankfurt to the Städelsche Kunstinstitut, worked with Philipp Veit and in 1842 with Jakob Becker. He made a name for himself with historical and religious depictions, family scenes and portraits and associated with colleagues such as Moritz von Schwind and Otto Donner von Richter and art patrons such as Franz von Bernus and Berthold Auerbach. For the interior design of the Kaisersaal in Frankfurt’s Römer, he created the portraits of Ludwig the German and Karl the Fat. In 1848/49 he drew Ferdinand Freiligrat. He also illustrated books with etchings, including works by Friedrich Rückert, Ludwig Uhland, Ludwig Tieck and Grimms Märchen.

His wall paintings, including a Hubertus, made him known to Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who brought him to Gotha, employed him from 1851 to 1859 and awarded him the title of court painter in 1856. For him he created, among other things, a hunting album with portraits of wild game and dogs and a portrait that was shown at the Berlin academy exhibition in 1858.

He spent the rest of his life in Munich, interrupted from 1865 to 1867 by a three-year study visit to Italy, which took him to Venice and Rome, and a study trip to Paris. He published graphics in magazines such as the Gartenlaube and the Münchener Bilderbogen. His pictures found many buyers, including Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria, Franz von Bernus, Joseph Maillinger and the Münchner Kunstverein.