Wehnert, Edward Henry (DNB00)


WEHNERT, EDWARD HENRY (1813–1868), watercolour-painter, was born in London, of German parents, in 1813. He was educated at Göttingen, and received his art training chiefly in Paris, where and in Jersey he resided from 1832 to 1837. He then returned to England and joined the recently founded ‘New’ Society (now the Institute) of Painters in Watercolours, to the exhibitions of which he was subsequently a constant contributor. His drawings were all of an historical character, among the best being ‘Lord Nigel's Introduction to the Sanctuary of Alsatia,’ ‘Luther reading his Sermon to some Friends,’ ‘The Death of Wickliffe,’ ‘Filippo Lippi and the nun Lucretia Buti,’ ‘Caxton examining the first Proof Sheet from his Press,’ and ‘The Prisoner of Gisors.’ The last is well known by the engraving published by the Art Union, 1848. Wehnert's large works, though excellently conceived and drawn, were unattractive in colour, and did not readily find purchasers. He was more successful as a designer of book illustrations. Among the many publications for which he furnished the drawings were Grimm's ‘Household Stories,’ 1853; Keats's ‘Eve of St. Agnes,’ 1856; Coleridge's ‘Ancient Mariner,’ 1857; ‘The Pilgrim's Progress,’ 1858; Andersen's ‘Fairy Tales,’ 1861; ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ 1862; and Poe's ‘Poetical Works,’ 1865. Wehnert contributed to the Westminster Hall cartoon exhibition in 1845 an allegorical drawing of ‘Justice,’ now in the South Kensington Museum. He died at Fortess Terrace, Kentish Town, on 15 Sept. 1868. A collection of his works was exhibited at the Institute in the following year.

[Art Journal, 1868; Bryan's Dict. of Painters (Armstrong); Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893.]

F. M. O'D.