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Johann Friedrich Overbeck
(July 13, 1789 - November 12, 1869) Germany

Johann Friedrich Overbeck



A Pre-Raphaelite painter, Overbeck was born in Lübeck, Slewsig-Holstein; he abandoned his family for the army, joining the Prussian Army (the other states incorporating their troops into the Prussian central command for the greater good of staving off the French).

He was soon befriended by the Lieutenant Peter von Cornelius. Overbeck had not the born skill and leadership qualities of Cornelius; he languished as a Corporal for most of the war, wounded in the arm during the advance into French territory.

What happened in Koblenz between the two is poorly recorded; some of the more Liberal Palatinate historians have put forward the idea of a homosexual relationship between the two. Although Cornelius later married, the idea is hard to refute; the two men were certainly very close.

When Overbeck later died in Rome, Italy, in suspicious circumstances Cornelius arranged a lavish public funeral entirely at his own expense. Overbeck was interred in the church of San Bernardo alle Terme.

Cornelius & Overbeck
Johann Friedrich Overbeck and Peter von Cornelius


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