Karl Bogdanovich Wenig

Karl Bogdanovich Wenig

1830 —1908
Karl Wenig was a distinguished Russian painter with Baltic-German ancestry, academician and a professor of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Wenig was born on February 26, 1830, in Reval (now Tallinn), Estonia in a large family of a Gottlieb Friedrich Wenig and Agathe Emilie Fabergé, a sister of famous Gustav Fabergé and an amateur artist. His father was a music teacher, organist and violinist in St Nicholas's Church in Reval. Immediately after Karl Wenig was born, the family moved to St. Petersburg. During 1844 - 1853, Wenig studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts under Fidelio Bruni. The artist's talent was so bright and his academic achievements so impressive that he managed to receive every medal that the Academy could offer including a gold medal for his painting 'Esther before Ahasuerus'. He started to participate in exhibitions from 1852. At the end of his studies in 1853, he was sent to Italy by the Academy for six years and stayed in Rome, contemplating and pondering Italian Renaissance painting, especially Raphael. Being in Italy, the artist has started the painting 'Entombment'. 

In 1860, Wenig received a title of Academician for his work 'Entombment'. In 1862, he became a professor of historical and portrait painting at the Academy after completing a magnificent painting 'Angels Proclaim the Death to the City of Sodom'. The main body of his work consists of paintings on historical, biblical or literary subjects. In the 1870s, Wenig was commissioned to paint frescoes and icons for the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. In 1876 he became a full-time Professor of the second degree in painting, and in 1888-a full-time Professor of the first degree. In the last years of his life, Wenig was the head of costume class at the Academy. The 1980s became the period of success and fruitfulness in the work of the artist. He was teaching at the Academy until 1894. Wenig died on February 6, 1908, in St. Petersburg.

Булгаков Ф. (1889) "Венигъ, Карлъ Богдановичъ" Наши художники. Живописцы, скульпторы, мозаичисты, гравёры и медальеры на Академических выставках последнего 25-тилетия. Санкт-Петербург: Типография А. С. Суворина
Валиев, М. (n.d.). Вениг Карл Богданович. [online] Available at:
Половцов А. (1904) Полвека служения искусству : Профессор К. Б. Вениг : 1853—1903. Москва: Университетская типография