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Anna Dorothea Therbusch

July 23, 1721 - November 9, 1782


Born in Berlin in July of 1721 to a Polish family of artists, Anna Dorothea Therbusch worked as a professional portrait painter in Germany. From the beginning of her marriage in 1741 until 1960, she gave up painting for personal reasons. As a formal return to painting in 1761, she was invited to the court of Duke Karl Eugen von Württemberg in Stuttgart, Germany. Two years later, she was appointed court painter to Elector Palatine Karl Theodor in Mannheim. In 1965 Therbusch traveled to Paris, and though her work was shown at the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture and the art critic and philosopher Diderot assisted her in her career, she was unsuccessful and returned to Prussia in 1768. There she painted portraits for Frederick II of Prussia and his royal court. Frederick II of Prussia also commissioned mythological scenes to decorate his newly built palace. Presently there are 200 surviving works; among them are pastels, drawings, portraits, self-portraits, and scenes of myth and religion.

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