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Johann Georg von Dillis

Biographies
Johann Georg von Dillis

*  1759 Gmain
† 1841 München


Johann Georg von Dillis was born on September 26, 1759 in Gmain, Bavaria. Dillis was supported early on by his patron, Elector Maximilian III Joseph of Bavaria and at the age of 16 attended the Gymnasium, where he showed particular skill in his drawing courses. He went on to study philosophy at the university but turned his attentions to theology soon thereafter. Dillis finished his education in 1782, but instead of entering the priesthood at this time, he applied himself wholeheartedly to art. He took more drawing and painting courses, and, beginning in 1786, Dillis himself gave classes at the elector's court. His position as a drawing instructor made Dillis financially independent for the first time. During his time at the court, he continued to train himself as an artist. In 1790, Dillis was appointed inspector of the new gallery in the Hofgarten of the Residenz in Munich. Even during such tumultuous times as the invasion by Napolean's armies, he took care of the art treasures of the gallery. In 1803, Dillis took over the secularization of the gallery, choosing the best works for the state. While traveling to Italy in 1805, Dillis undertook intensive art historical studies. During this time, his theoretical work took the foreground, though his drawing and painting activities did not suffer for it. He was appointed professor of landscape painting at the academy in Munich in 1808, but, because of his numerous travels, he was not able to commit himself fully to his official duties. He was therefore replaced by Wilhelm von Kobell in 1813. Dillis continued his intense traveling schedule, during which he bought artworks in the name of the crown prince Ludwig. As of 1820, he devoted himself almost exclusively to his gallery work, restructuring the collections in the palaces at Nuremberg, Würzburg, and Aschaffenburg. Dillis was appointed as the central gallery director in 1822 and conducted negotiations with Klenze for the building of the Pinakothek, which was constructed in 1836. His many travels and artistic activities having taken their toll, Georg Dillis died in 1841 in Munich, at the age of 81.