Johann Carl Emanuel von Ungern-Sternberg was born on 3 February 1773, in Paslepa Manor, near Haapsalu, into the family of a Field Marshal. He was educated at the fraternal educational establishment of the town of Barby on the left bank of the River Elbe, then studied law. Thanks to his legal education, Ungern-Sternberg was employed as a secretary of the Estonian knighthood in Tallinn from 1803–1806.

After travelling to Dresden in 1806, he decided to study art under Professor Traugott Leberecht Pochmann. Ungern-Sternberg travelled extensively during his lifetime, visiting various places in Western Europe between 1810 and 1829. His sepia drawings of Baltic towns and medieval monuments, which he drew while travelling, are of great cultural importance. Equally important is the first series of portraits of university professors, published in 1826. The series of portraits consisted of four small format (28 x 22 cm) sheets printed in lithography. Four more portraits were published three years later. The publication of the masterfully drawn and imaginatively fresh and true portraits was interrupted in 1830, when Ungern-Sternberg died.

View of the Viljandi Caste ruins.

Johann Carl Emanuel von Ungern-Sternberg (1773-1830):
Ruins of Viljandi Castle 1829. Sepia, paper. 21.2 x 39.7 cm.
Estonian History Museum
AM_7603:2 G 1369:2

KEYWORDS: Author of portraits of University of Tartu professors