Paint Box used by Hermann Lungkwitz

German painter captures heart of Texas Hill Country

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This paint box was used by German artist Hermann Lungkwitz when he was living in Austin. Despite living in the state for 40 years, his two decades in Austin were his most productive as an artist in Texas.

Hermann Lungkwitz (1813-1891) immigrated to Texas in 1851 with friend, brother-in-law, and fellow artist Friedrich Richard Petri (1824-1857) and several members of their family. Once in Texas, the group settled on a farm near the German settlement of Fredericksburg. Despite relying on farming and other sources of income, Petri and Lungkwitz continued to sketch and paint. Together, their work captured a visual record of the people and landscape of the Texas Hill Country in the 19th century. Lungkwitz eventually learned photography and moved to Austin in 1870 after accepting a position as a photographer for the General Land Office. When the position ended in 1874, he remained in Austin, teaching art lessons and continuing to paint until his death in 1891.

Lungkwitz and Petri became friends while art students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Germany. Their work reflects the German Romantic movement in which they were immersed, focusing on mood, emotion, and personal interpretation over literal depiction. Both artist’s process also reflected their years of academic training — they would sketch observations on the fly, go back to the sketches at a later date and rework them, then make a final tracing before painting.

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Paint Box used by Hermann Lungkwitz Artifact from Austin
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