Andreas Achenbach (b. 1815-d. 1910) was a German landscape painter, a pioneer of the German realist school.
Achenbach was born at Kassel, he began his art education at the age of 12 in Dusseldorf under Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow at the Dusseldorf Academy of Painting. He was the first artist of the Dusseldorf Academy of Painting to paint nature for its own sake. His paintings of the stormy North Sea, of Dutch canal, and of Rhineland villages contrasted favourably with the sentimental landscapes of his contemporaries.
In his early work he followed the pseudo-idealism of the German romantic school, but on removing to Munich in 1835, the stronger influence of Louis Gurlitt turned his talent into new channels, and he became the founder of the German realistic school. Although his landscapes evince too much of his aim at picture-making and lack personal temperament, he is a master of technique, and is historically important as a reformer.
A number of his finest works are to be found at the Berlin National Gallery, the New Pinakothek in Munich, and the galleries at Dresden, Darmstadt, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Leipzig and Hamburg.
He died in Dusseldorf at the age of 95.