Friedrich Olivier

1791 (Dessau, Germany) – 1859 (Dessau)

Ferdinand Olivier was his brother and fellow-artist (a third brother, Heinrich, was also a painter). He befriended Schnorr, who painted him working beside the Königssee and accompanied him to Rome, where they associated with the Nazarenes, including Overbeck, Cornelius and Horny. He was a lifelong friend of Schnorr, undertaking several trips with him, but declining his invitation to help him with frescos illustrating German mythology in King Ludwig of Bavaria’s castle. Both Friedrich and Ferdinand Olivier were deeply influenced by Koch, whom they met in Vienna.

Ferdinand Olivier

1785 (Dessau, Germany) – 1841 (Munich)

Friedrich Olivier was his brother (an elder brother, Heinrich, was also a painter). David and Runge were met in Dresden. The two Oliviers met Koch in Vienna and were deeply influenced by him; Schlegel was also a close acquaintance there. Schnorr von Carolsfeld was a friend and colleague in the Nazarene group.

Charles Willson Peale

Charles Wilson Peel;Charles Wilson Peale

1741 (Chestertown, Md.) – 1827 (Philadelphia)

Peale studied under West in London, having previously been taught by Copley. Humboldt went with Peale to meet Jefferson in the White House. Jefferson helped Peale organise the exhumation of a mastodon skeleton (which went into the museum Peale had opened), as well as commissioning from him a ‘polygraph’ for copying documents, and donating a collection of minerals to his museum (as also did Franklin, Haüy and Maclure). Banks was a correspondent. Several of Peale’s many children, most notably Titian Peale, had multifaceted careers as artists among other things.

Benjamin West

1738 (Springfield, Pa.) – 1820 (London)

Reynolds and West were co-founders of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. From his position as second president of the R.A., he helped younger American artists like Morse, Peale and Allston, as well as more established ones like Copley and Stuart (in Trumbull’s case, even saving him from execution as a spy). Constable was among British artists he advised and supported. He met Mengs in Italy, and was a good friend of Franklin, whose portrait he painted. The engineer Fulton, who originally wanted to be a painter, stayed in West’s London house for some years while studying with him.

Benjamin Haydon

1786 (Plymouth, England) – 1846 (London)

Haydon epitomises the way a mistaken belief in one’s own genius can still lead to a significant role in the culture of the time. He was one of Fuseli’s students at the Royal Academy, and painted a portrait in fullblown romantic style of his friend Wordsworth at Helvellyn. His friendship with Keats ended when he reneged on a loan Keats had made to him. He also quarreled and fell out with Hunt, an early friend, at the same time. Both Landseer and Morse studied under him. He included the faces of his friends Lamb, Hazlitt, Wordsworth (and Keats) in his painting ‘Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem.’

Allan Ramsay

Alan Ramsay;Allen Ramsay;Allan Ramsey

1713 (Edinburgh) – 1784 (Dover, England)

Hume and Smith together with Ramsay founded an Edinburgh debating society. When Rousseau was staying with Hume in London, he painted his portrait wearing his so-called Armenian costume. Ramsay visited Voltaire twice, and formed with Adam a group of friends in Rome, including Piranesi. Nasmyth was a pupil. Hogarth advertised that buyers of his ‘An Analysis of Beauty’ would get a copy of his friend Ramsay’s ‘Dialogue on Taste’ free.