Born in Münsterberg, Woelfl was among the most famous painters of Breslau's cityscape. He was associated with the city from his early years - he graduated the gymnasium of St. Matthias and studied languages at the university there. A sought after portraitist of Breslau, Ernst Resch, taught him the secrets of painting, and then Woelfl polished his skills during numerous travels over Germany, Austria and north of Italy. His vedutas of Breslau were very popular among local collectors, e.g. consul Theodor Ehrlich amassed a large group of Woelfl's works.
At first Woelfl collected prints of modern artists. In time his collector's passion evolved and started absorbing all his funds. He possessed drawings and watercolors of Carl Philipp Fohr (previously owned by other artists of Breslau, Carl Hermann and Raphael Schall), numerous compositions by Schall, Johann Heinrich König and Amand G. Zausig, with whom he was personally acquainted. After Wolfl's death his collection, the value of which was estimated at 15000 marks, was auctioned. A part of the works were acquired by other collectors of Breslau: Toni Neisser, Eduard Feige and Wilhelm Perlhöfter.
Hanna Grisebach, Adelbert Wölfl [in:] Schlesische Lebensbilder, v. 4, Breslau 1931, p. 363-373
Ernst Scheyer, Schlesische Malerei der Biedermeierzeit, München 1965
Piotr Łukaszewicz, Adalbert Woelfl (1826-1893). Malarz dawnego Wrocławia, Wrocław 1993
My thanks to dr Piotr Łukaszewicz for valuable information on Woelfl's biography and collection.
- Magdalena Palica