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PETER VON CORNELIUS

PETER VON CORNELIUS (1787-1867), a distinguished German painter, born at Düsseldorf; early gave proof of artistic genius, which was carefully fostered by his father; spent much time as a youth in studying and copying Raphael; before he was 20 he decorated a church at Neuss with colossal figures in chiaroscuro; in 1810 executed designs for Goethe's "Faust"; in the year after went to Rome, where, along with others, he revived the old art of fresco painting, in which he excelled his rivals; the subjects of these were drawn from Greek pagan as well as Christian sources, his "Judgment" being the largest fresco in the world; the thought which inspires his cartoons, critics say, surpasses his power of execution; it should be added, he prepared a set of designs to illustrate the "Nibelungen".


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