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Painter, born at Stuttgart, 29 February, 1762; died at Stuttgart, 14 August, 1852. He studied painting at Paris under Regnault, David, and Gros, and later went to Rome, where he improved his French classical style of painting by the study of Italian art. He appreciated Carsten's freer style with its sterling merit, and adopted the ideas of the Romantic school. While at Rome he became a Catholic. He gained great influence over his contemporaries by his fine perception of the depths of feeling that could be evoked from the subjects he used. To this period of his best work belong a "Child Jesus on the Lamb", "Belisarius at the Porta Pinciana at Rome", and "Job and His Friends". In 1798 the French drove him from Rome, and he went to Vienna, as he found no place in his native town of Stuttgart, on account of his conversion. At Vienna he illustrated books and made drawings, many of which were etched or engraved by Rahl and Leybold. While there he also painted a "Mater dolorosa", a "Caritas", and "Criton visiting Socrates in Prison". Wachter was the real founder of the Brotherhood of St. Luke, a society of those painters who soon after established at Rome a more natural and thoughtful school of painting, known as the Nazarenes. Wachter finally went to Stuttgart, where he painted "Cimon in Prison", "Ulysses and the Sirens", the "Boat of Life", "Andromache standing at the Urn with Hector's Ashes", the "Greek Muse mourning over the Ruins of Athens", a "Virgin with St. John Sorrowing at the Grave of Christ", etc. He excelled in treating lyrical and elegaic subjects.
WINTTERLIN, Wurtembergische Kunstler in Lebensbildern (Stuttgart, 1895); RIEGEL, Gesch. Der neueren deutschen Kunst, I (Hanover, 1876); REBER, Gesch. Der neueren deutschen Kunst, I (Stuttgart, 1884).