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Small Clausewitz poster Small (16 x 20-inch) poster.
Available from CafePress.

Cafe Press logo Souvenir Shop logo Poster - Mugs - Etc.

Large Clausewitz poster Large (23 x 35-inch) poster.
Available from CafePress.

Clausewitz is Cool!
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There are now three known portraits of Clausewitz, possibly only two from life, with a large number of variations. The first is a new discovery, supplied in 2015 to Bernd Domsgen and Olaf Thiel of the Clausewitz Society (Freundeskreis Clausewitz) in Burg by descendants of Clausewitz's siblings. The drawing below—possibly by Marie v. Clausewitz—is of a rather young Carl. Vanya Bellinger suggests it dates from c.1808-1810. Below that drawing is the 1815/16 portrait of General Graf August von Gneisenau (Clausewitz's mentor and friend) executed by Marie. As you can see, it is quite well done (though it is perhaps a bit too true-to-life). [DHM data]

Drawing of Clausewitz c.1807

Portrait of Gneisenau, by Marie von Clausewitz Gneisenau
by Marie von Clausewitz
[Click for larger image.]

The second (below) is a portrait of Clausewitz in a Russian lieutenant-colonel's uniform, made c.1813 or 1814. This painting has long been lost, though old photos of the original and a couple of rather poor, primitive-looking copies exist. Both the drawing of Clausewitz shown two pictures above and the original painting may have been done by Marie von Clausewitz—the opinion of Vanya Bellinger, based on the timing and on Marie's demonstrated competence as a painter. Immediately above is the 1815/16 portrait of General Graf August von Gneisenau (Clausewitz's mentor and friend) executed by Marie. As you can see, it is quite well done. [DHM data]

This image of the second portrait, below, is a composite based on the best images we can find. It originated as a b&w photo of the original portrait from ASMZ [Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift], a Swiss military publication. ASMZ indicates that that image came from a photo in Werner Hahlweg, Klassiker der Kriegskunst (Darmstadt 1960), p.256. The location of the original portrait, originally in the possession of the Clausewitz family, is unknown to us, though there is a poor copy at the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr. The face and uniform are from the ASMZ photo, which is very dark. The hair is taken from the (also poor) copy in the Clausewitz Museum in Burg. This composite is ©

Portrait of Clausewitz c.1814 LTC Clausewitz in Russian uniform c.1813
[another image]

The painting on the wall below is a copy of the lost portrait showing Clausewitz in a Russian lieutenant-colonel's uniform. This copy was given to GeneralMajor Beck, commandant of the Führungsakademie of the German Bundeswehr, when he visited the Russian Military Academy in 2005. The photo below that, taken by Vanya Eftimova Bellinger but heavily processed to bring out detail, minimize glare, and correct for perspective distortion, is of the copy that hangs in the Clausewitz Museum in Burg.

copy of the original painting, displayed at the German military academy

Original portrait?

The third portrait of Clausewitz (several versions are shown below) is the original full-color portrait by Wilhelm Wach, supposedly painted from life in 1830, but it may in fact be a posthumous portrait based on earlier drawings. This is the most frequently-encountered image of Clausewitz, appearing in many forms and derivatives. The picture immediately below is a composite, created by cloning together an image of the rather pastel painting itself with the strong contrasts of a B&W image of the color lithograph made from the painting by Franz Michaelis. This composite is also ©

If you wish to use the image above, on the web or in print (we have a higher-resolution version), you must request permission through The Clausewitz Homepage.

The original painting, long thought lost or destroyed during World War II, is now back in the hands of the Clausewitz family's relatives. The painting itself is very small, 26x21 cm. Black and white images are often either from photos of the original painting or from various copies of the b&w and color lithographs (shown below), prints of which vary widely in quality. Numerous additional drawings and posterizations have been made based on these basic images

portrait of Clausewitz

Above Left: The original Wach painting (from a 2015 photo). Right: Color lithograph by Franz Michelis the younger.

This black & white detail immediately above, apparently from the lithograph done after Wach's painting by Michelis, is quite different from prints we have seen of the color litho and may be yet another distinct work based on the Wach painting. Each print of the litho is unique, and there appears to be a great deal of variation among them.

Above is a very slick new version, though the face is considerably altered. This painting is a copy based on photos of the Wach portrait, which had been lost since World War II. It was commissioned by the Clausewitz Gesellschaft in 1999 and presented to the Führungsakademie of the German Bundeswehr in Hamburg in that year. We took this file from

Two Clausewitz images compared.

Immediately above, the Clausewitz on the right is the original from the portrait commissioned by the Clausewitz Gesellschaft in 1999. But John Amble, the editor for USMA's Modern War Institute, has gone to a lot of trouble to alter the eyes and mouth to make the Clausewitz on the right look much sterner and tougher. This appeared as an illustration to Steve Leonard's "'You Really Think I'm Irrelevant? LOL.' A Letter to Clausewitz Haters from Beyond The Grave," West Point: Modern War Institute, USMA, 6 May 6 2020. While Leonard's article is obviously pro-Clausewitz, the distortion of a specific individual's portrait to reflect a stereotypical view of Prussian generals (which is particularly misleading in this case) is a dubious practice.

Russian book cover illustration--Clausewitz mounted for battle.

Here (above) is the 1999 Clausewitz Gesellschaft portrait adapted as the cover illustration of one Russian edition of the 1934 Russian translation [ISBN 9785699664863] of Vom Kriege. (Click on the image to see a larger version.) The version used at the top of the "Clausewitz Graphics" page has been modified—it uses a portrait head derived directly (digitally) from the original 1830 Wach painting and the excessive gold trim on the uniform coat's lower half has been removed.

The portrait seen below is a detail from the painting "Die Tafelrunde" by Josef Schneider (1966), which shows Clausewitz drinking with some prominent comrades in Mainz in 1815. It is displayed on the Clausewitz Homepage by courtesy of the Headquarters of the German Army Forces Command, Koblenz (HQ GARFCOM). They hold the copyright and have been known to supply high-quality photographs of it to facilitate high-quality print reproduction. It is based on a mirror-image of the Wach portrait.

portrait, Clausewitz in 1815

A fellow named Oliver Schmidt tells us that the painting was made in 1966, a gift from the municipality to the Bundeswehr corps command in Koblenz, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the existence of an army corps headquarters in the town. The painter, Josef Schneider, was living in the village Emmelshausen (25 km south of Koblenz) and got 3500 DM for his work. Schmidt cites Rüdiger Wischemann, "Die 'Tafelrunde im von-der-Leyenschen Hof': ein Koblenzer Tafelbild von Josef Schneider, Emmelshausen." Berlin:, 2003, ISBN: 3898257576.

Clausewitz in Mainz, 1815--Thumbnail

Here's a thumbnail of the whole painting.

List of figures

For a list of who's who in this painting, click this image.

list of personnel in painting

Here's a detail of the main group.


The Schneider portrait of Clausewitz is a mirror image of the Wach/Michelis image.

portraits of Jomini and ClausewitzJomini and Clausewitz
(© 2018)

(Click here for image info and more images of Jomini.)

Iron Cross, second class


Clausewitz's wife and editor Marie von Clausewitz, born Marie Sophie Gräfin von Brühl [Countess Marie Sophie von Brühl] (1779-1836). Any serious understanding of the personality and thinking of Carl von Clausewitz must include his deep relationship with his high-born, well educated, well connected, and politically sophisticated wife. This is a lithograph based on a lost painting done c.1800. Clausewitz thought this was a good likeness but that the eyes were not quite correct.

Marie von Clausewitz

Illustration from Karl Schwartz, Leben des Generals Carl von Clausewitz und der Frau Marie von Clausewitz, geb. Gräfin von Brühl: Mit Briefen, Aufsätzen, Tagebüchern und anderen Schriftstücken (Berlin: Ferd. Dümmlers Verlags-Buchhandlung, 1878). The rather frumpy-looking bonnet she is wearing is actually a political statement—it is a "bonnet a la Nelson,” i.e., a fashionable celebration of Lord Nelson’s 1798 victory in the Battle of the Nile. Given Prussia's nervous neutrality at the time, this would have been a strong statement at court. (Click for a larger image.)

The image below, recently unearthed by Vanya Bellinger, is a detail of an 1815 portrait of Countess Marie von Clausewitz by artist François-Joseph Kinson, late court painter to Jérôme Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, and then in need of a new job. Marie was uncharacteristically overweight at the time, evidently a nervous reaction to that year's excitements, but couldn't resist the opportunity.

Color portrait of Marie in 1815

Clausewitzian "Trinity" demonstration device

Clausewitzian "Trinity" demonstration device

The "Trinity" is a key concept in Clausewitzian theory, which Clausewitz illustrated by referring to this scientific device. You can obtain the ROMP (Randomly Oscillating Magnetic Pendulum) from science toy stores for about $30. This model is available from For graphic visual metaphors for Clausewitz's Trinity, click here.

Randomly Oscillating Magnetic Pendulum


cartoon portrait

A friendly caricature by David Levine in the
New York Review of Books, 14 OCT 1976.
(Prints available from NYRB. Click image for link.)

Caricature by John CoxFrom artist John Cox, 4 MAR 2011.

caricature of German military-historical figures

ABOVE: ©Artist Rainer Ehrt, "Prussian Roulette" ("Preußisches Roulette") Karikatur, Am Spieltisch mit der Landkarte Europas mit Wilhelm I, Bismarck, Friedrich II (der Grosse), Leopold von Anhalt-Dessau, Schlieffen, Clausewitz, Wilhelm II, und Hindenburg, 1999. Posted to The Clausewitz Homepage by permission of the artist. More artwork by Julia and Rainer Ehrt can be found at All images in the section below are © Rainer Ehrt.

detailDetail from Rainer Ehrt, "Little Prussian Court Theater." A thumbnail of the full cartoon is shown below.

detailClick image to see larger version.

detail Click image to see larger version.

book coverFrom Rainer Ehrt, Preußischer Bilderbogen
(Parthas Verlag Berlin 2011), ISBN 3869640499

Caricature of Clausewitz by Edward Sorel, 1971

Above: Caricature of Clausewitz by Edward Sorel, Horizons, Summer 1971. Retrieved from The implied rankings of audience members naturally reflects someone else's view (Sorel's?), not those of Clausewitz.

Portrait: Clausewitz is Cool"Clausewitz is cool."

Let's Ask a Rock Star!

Danish portrait of ClausewitzDanish portrait of Clausewitz, from Høiback, Harald. En kort introduksjon til Carl von Clausewitz—Krigens filosof. Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2021. ISBN: 9788202712266. See review by Jens Ringsmose.

Clausewitz as depected in a Japanese book of cartoons

From a book "To Understand Clausewitz's 'On War' with Cartoons" mentioned by Takeshi Oki without a citation, presumably 漫画クラウゼヴィッツと戦争論 (日本語) 単行本(ソフトカバー).


Below: From Zenpundit and The ChicagoBoyz
Click images below to visit original URL.

ImageClausewitz as fractal


Hare Clausewitz

"Hare von Clausewitz"
Caitlin Fitz Gerald, The Children's Illustrated Clausewitz, Volume I
(London/Perth/Nairobi/Oaxaca: Helios House Press, 2021). ISBN: 978-1-911683-00-1

See also Spencer Ackerman, "The Bible of Western War,
Now Featuring Cartoon Animals
." Wired, 18 July 2011.
Military History Quarterly review.



AKG (see contact info below) can provide either transparency, print or high-res scans (356 DPI, opens as 25 megabites, .jpg not .tiff format) of the color lithograph portrait in either color or black & white. Charges will depend on your intended use, number of copies to be reproduced, etc. These images are thumbnails. They have other relevant images as well.

portrait of Clausewitz

portrait of Clausewitz

AKG London Ltd
5 Melbray Mews
158 Hurlingham Road
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7610 6103
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7610 6125
email: [email protected]

If you are outside the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Hong Kong, please contact the Berlin office:
Archiv fur Kunst und Geschichte
Teutonenstrasse 22
14129 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0) 30 80485200  Fax: +49 (0) 30 80485500

If you are in France, please contact the Paris office:
AKG Phototheque
67 Rue Notre-Dame des Champs
75006 Paris


There are original bronze busts of Clausewitz (some quite different from one another) at the German Army's War College; the U.S. National War College in Washington, DC (which is the one shown above, done c.2000 in Hamburg by an artist named Büsching, based on the Bundeswehr's version); and the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA.

Clausewitz bust-German War College

The original bust in the Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr in Hamburg, Germany.
(Click for larger image.)

Here's a bust shown on the Clausewitz Gessellschaft's website. In 1989, at what is now the Carl von Clausewitz Kaserne in Burg, the East German Volksarmee unveiled this bronze bust. There is a very similar bust—possibly the same one—in the Clausewitz Museum in Burg.

A smaller, U.S.-made bust (URL is no longer available).

Souvenir Clausewitz bust From Historia-Souvenir, Leipsic, Germany
This one is advertised as "New!" - Accessed 23 FEB 2016.

Here's an older one (c.60mm high) from the same source as above, apparently no longer available.

Clausewitz bust

Buste des Generals Clausewitz im Zeughaus zu Berlin. Deutsches Historisches Museum, InventarNr: Kg 62/45. Sculpture by Theodor Litke, c.1890. DHM inventory data. It would be nice to know more about the history of this bust. Photo from the Burg Zeitung, "Die Jahre des Carl von Clausewitz in seiner Geburtsstadt: Mit zwolf Lebensjahren aus Burg Entsshwunden?," evidently published in 2000.
See and here.

Also from the Clausewitz Gessellschaft, the "Ehrenmedaille General Carl von Clausewitz" for outstanding achievement at the German war college.

Clausewitz Denkmal

Burg, Denkmal für Carl von Clausewitz.
(Click for larger image.)

From Doctrine Man: MEMORABILIA $9.99 Coin--Dead Carl Lives


book cover, VOM KRIEGE

a French ink wash drawing of Clausewitz a sepia-tone version
engraved portrait

Clausewitz's house in Burg The Clausewitz family house in Burg (restored)

Clausewitz's house in Burg Clausewitz house before restoration.

Watercolor of Clausewitz's house in Burg Watercolor.

Three images (above) of Clausewitz's house in Burg

A Nazi poster quoting Clausewitz Nazi Propaganda Poster: The Nazi Party's Central Propaganda Office (the Reichspropagandaleitung ) produced a weekly poster with a quotation that could be displayed in party offices, public buildings, etc."The time is yours. What happens with it depends on you. Clausewitz." (#37 for 8-14 September 1940). SOURCE

A locket with pictures of both Clausewitz and Sun TzuClausewitz and Sun Tzu

The Economist's Clausewitz section logo
Image used by The Economist's "Clausewitz" blog.

Clausewitz coat of arms The Clausewitz family coat of arms.
Photo by Vanya Eftimova Bellinger
at the Clausewitz Museum in Burg.
See smaller version.

Clausewitz Family Tree The Clausewitz Family Tree. Click image for a 1300x900-pixel version.
This is a contribution from Olaf Thiel und Bernd Domsgen of The Clausewitz Society
in Clausewitz's hometown of Burg, Germany.
E-Mail Adressen für Fragen, Hinweise und Anregungen.
email address
[This address is provided as an un-linked image, for security.]

small portraitsmall portraitsmall portraitsmall portrait

small portraitsmall portraitsmall portraitA black&white lithograph

newer portrait

Yet another version of the c.1813 portrait in Russian uniform.

another postage stamp
postage stamp
another postage stamp (large)
DDR postage stamp

Clausewitz Stamp, 2020

Special stamp issued by "Biberpost" on the occasion of the 240th birthday of Carl von Clausewitz in 2020. The stamp can now be purchased at the Tourist Information desk in Burg (in the train station).


a child's drawing of Clausewitz A child's drawing.

an abstract drawing of Clausewitz By Anselm Kiefer, c.1982/87. Woodcuts and acrylic on cut and pasted papers
125 3/8 x 151 3/4 in. (317.8 x 385.4 cm)

small portrait

small portrait

poorly done painting of Clausewitz in Russian general's uniform This painting shows Clausewitz in a Russian general's uniform (though Clausewitz was never a
Russian general). It is (rather poorly) based on the 1830 Wach portrait. This is a modern painting commissioned by the Russian Army and presented to the academy of the Bundeswehr on May 18, 2004.

woodcut, c.WW1, version 2

French portrait, color another French portrait, black and white

a French drawing Above: 3 French versions.

A Spanish version A Spanish version, drawn by Edgar Lugos' father in 1982.

An Italian version An Italian version (from the cover of the 1970 Italian translation.)

From Vom Kriege

a Chinese portrait of Clausewitz A Chinese version.

a Russian drawing A Russian version.

an East German soldier guarding Clausewitz's tomb An East German soldier guarding Clausewitz's tomb.

Thomas Guest at Clausewitz's tombstone Clausewitz's tomb. Note the correct spelling of the name: Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz.


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