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Alfred
Ratel

Germany 
1816−1859
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German painter and graphic artist. The representative of the düsseldorf school. He studied at düsseldorf Academy of arts (1829-36) V. Schadow and in Frankfurt am main (1836-47) at F. Feith. Romantic by nature, harsh and powerful art R. is drawn to the heroic and idealized images of the German middle ages, to mystic symbolism, monumental stylized forms, is not devoid of nationalist sentiment (frescoes on the theme of the history of Charlemagne in the city hall in Aachen, 1840-51). In the cycle of drawings "Another dance of death" (ed. in engravings on wood, 1849), in a pessimistic spirit reflected the events of the Revolution of 1848.

German historical painter, from early childhood, characterized by great ability for drawing. In 1829 he moved from his hometown of Aachen to Dusseldorf, where his own compositions very soon drew the attention of their teachers. In 1833 they were performed the first independent picture. Being dissatisfied with the ruling of the düsseldorf school in the sentimental direction, R., in 1836, moved to Frankfurt am main, joined the residents of the city of F. Feith, and began to work in provided to him in the Stadel Institute workshop. Here he has written: "Daniel in the lion's cave" (1838), "the Body of Gustavus Adolphus at the battle of Lutzen", "Nemesis pursuing a murderer", "Moses smashing the tablets, Prayer of crusaders," "the Emperor Rudolf and Bishop Werner", "Three of the German Emperor" (in Frankfurt am main). In 1841 R. was awarded first prize for his sketches for paintings, which decorate the Imperial hall in Aachen. These compositions on subjects from the life of Charlemagne is characterized by remarkable strength and far superior to painted for them by the same artist. After his trip to Italy, b. in 1844-45 he started, in 1847, to the execution of this monumental work and to 1851 managed to finish four murals ("Otto III worship the tomb of Charlemagne", "the destruction of the statues of Arminius", "Victory at Cordoba" and "the Taking of Pavia"). In 1852 R. went to Italy again; here for the first time he showed signs of serious mental illness, which intensified upon his return to his homeland to such an extent that it was necessary to put him in a nursing home in düsseldorf, where he ended his life. He initiated the mural was finished, he sketches, Keren. The second significant work of R. — a series of watercolors on the theme: "the Transition Hannibal through the Alps". Other works of R. specify on the drawings for the woodcuts depicting the "Dance of Death" (published in 1846, with the text of the Reinicke), "Transition of Josiah across Jordan", illustrations of Luteranska the Psalm, "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott", "12 months" and some others.

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