Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Franz Ittenbach
Historical painter; born at Königswinter, at the foot of the Drachenfels, in 1852; died at Düsseldorf, 1879. He was a pupil at the age of nineteen at the Academy of Düsseldorf, receiving also private lessons from its president, Schadow. He was an exceedingly religious man, and associated with himself three of his friends and fellow-students, Karl and Andreas Müller, and Ernst Deger, and the four men travelled about in Germany, studying and painting together. He persistently declined any commissions for mythological or pagan subjects, and as a rule devoted his energies exclusively to church decoration, preceding the execution of his greatest works by devout religious exercises, including confession and communion. His finest paintings are to be found at Bonn, in the church of St. Remigius, and in Breslau in a church dedicated to the same saint. There is also a remarkable "Holy Family" dated 1861, painted for Prince Liechtenstein in his private house near Vienna, and many other works by him are in various Catholic churches in France. His only important fresco was painted in 1844 in a church at Remagen. He was a very popular painter in court circles, a member of most of the European academies, and the recipient of many medals and decorations. His colouring is correct and delicate, and yet of remarkable brilliance, and his pictures have a suave and attractive religious aspect and create a strong emotion in the minds of those who gaze at them. He painted a few portraits, but they were unimportant; his main work was in his altar-pieces.
See various numbers of the Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunsk (1879 and later years).
GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON.