Moritz Retzsch

Moritz Retzsch
Scene from Faust

Friedrich August Moritz Retzsch (December 9, 1779 - June 11, 1857) was a German painter, draughtsman, and etcher.

Retzsch was born in the Saxon capital Dresden. He joined the Dresden Academy of Arts in 1798 under Cajetan Toscani and Józef Grassi, later working autodidactically, copying the famous pictures of the Gemäldegalerie, among them a copy of the Sixtinian Madonna. He was made a member of the Academy in 1817 and professor in 1824. The Cotta publishing house commissioned illustrations for Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Faust (26 plates), which made him financially independent. Goethe liked his work, and he illustrated works by other famous authors, most notably Friedrich Schiller's Lied von der Glocke (43 plates), a Shakespeare Gallery (80 plates), and Bürger's Ballads (15 plates). He also did oil paintings on classical subjects, and portraits. Many of his works were created in a house in the Lößnitz, with a view of the Elbe Valley.

As a winemaker, he was a member of the Saxon wine association from 1799 onwards. Retzsch died in Oberlössnitz/Radebeul.


  • Das Winzerfest der Weinbaugesellschaft im Königreich Sachsen am 25.10.1840, Meinhold & Söhne, Dresden
  • Neidhardt, H.J., Die Malerei der Romantik in Dresden, Seemann Verlag. Leipzig 1976
  • H. Heine, Die Harzreise, Ph. Reclam jun. Verlag Leipzig, 16. Aufl., 1961, S.48
  • Bäumel, J., Vom landesherrlichen Bacchus-Triumph zum Aufzug der "Hofewintzer", in: 600 Jahre Hoflößnitz, historische Weingutsanlage, S.125-139, M. Sandstein Verl. Dresden, 2001; Vogel, G.H., Vivat Bacchus, Bacchus lebe ..., S.154-162.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Retzsch, Moritz". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

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