Karl Blechen (1798 – 1840) was a master of German Realism who often painted outdoors to create a literal image of his subjects. Originally a banker, Blechen later pursued art. In Berlin, he was appointed stage painter to the Royal Theater, which suited his extraordinary, enigmatic style. During travels through Italy, his landscapes and architectural paintings revealed more relaxed, flowing brushstrokes. Later, he became the Berlin Academy’s Professor of Landscape Painting. Renowned for his use of brilliant colors and unconventional motifs, Blechen was one of the 19th century’s most important artists.