Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl (German 1794 – 1887)

Allegory of the Hunt and Music


Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl (German 1794 – 1887) Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl received his first drawing lessons from his father, the sculptor Johann Christian Ruhl and as a young man attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Kassel where he met the painter Ludwig Emil Grimm. Ruhl studied aesthetics and art history in Göttingen and later at the Dresden Academy where he made the acquaintance of Arthur Schopenhauer, whom he portrayed in 1815. He attended the Art Academy in Munich, starting a friendship with the landscape painter Karl Philipp Fohr, followed by a sojourn in Rome. Here he was inspired by the Renaissance masters and painted in the style of the Nazarene school, depicting primarily religious motives. Eventually he returned to his hometown Kassel in 1818. He traveled to Hanau, Frankfurt and Berlin. During this time he created drawings, paintings, primarily with allegorical and historical subjects, and illustrations to Shakespeare’s dramas. In 1832 Ruhl took a professorship at the Academy before being appointed director of the museum in Kassel and later the Academy. During the 1840s Ruhl mainly depicted mythological motifs. In his later creative period Ruhl returned to drawing and created several design for ceramics.

This genre scene by Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl from 1836 depicts an allegory of hunting and music. A young lady, her back facing the viewer, is playing the piano while an elderly man accompanies her on the cello. Another man holding up a dead hare stands in the background. The composition in subdued colors shows a fine and detailed execution typical of the artist’s work. In the Graphic Collection of the Schloss Wilhelmshöhe there are several sketches and preparatory drawings for this painting, in which Ruhl conceived the composition and the individual figures.