Bernhard RodeBernhard Rode (25 July 1725 - died 28 June 1797) was a Prussian artist and engraver well-known for portraying historical scenes and allegorical works. He knew most of the central figures in the Berlin Enlightenment as Friedrich Nicolai and Gotthold Lessing, and the philosophical and political discussions of the Berlin Philosophs informed much of the subject matter of his artistic work. His paintings include several works depicting, in various guises, the King of Prussia Frederick the Great, who ruled the Prussia during much of Rode's lifetime. Rode was director of the Berlin Academy of the Arts from 1783 until his death in 1797.
Rode was the son of a goldsmith Christian Bernhard Rode and his wife, Anna Sophie. The copper engraver Johann Heinrich Rode and the sculptor Philipp Rode were his brothers. He received his earliest artistic training from his father and his earliest training in drawing from a painter, N. Meller. His four-year education at the studio of the court painter Antoine Pesne, an influential painter in Berlin and Brandenburg, was important to his professional development. During his apprenticeship, he learned to paint portraits. In 1748, Rode began a study trip of several years. He spent 18 months in the studio of Jean Restout and Charles Andre van Loo (sometimes known as Carle van Loo or Vanloo). He became acquainted with Jean-Baptiste Deshayes and developed his talent and interest in the medium of history painting. In Venice and Rome, he studied the old masters. In 1755 or 1756, he returned to Berlin, and he married Sophie Luise, but the earliest years of their marriage remained childless.