Menzel, Adolph Friedrich Erdmann von (äˈdôlf frēˈdrĭkh ĕrtˈmän fən mĕnˈtsəl) [key], 1815–1905, German painter and illustrator. Self-taught, Menzel made lithographic illustrations for Goethe's Künstlers Erdenwallen, which attracted attention. His 400 designs for woodblocks illustrating Kugler's History of Frederick the Great (1840–42) established his reputation and gave a stimulus to German wood engraving. While best known for historical paintings, he sketched scenes from nature related to impressionism in style. His work is best represented in museums in Berlin, London, and Cambridge, Mass.
See M. Fried, Menzel's Realism (2002).