The youngest brother of the Kassel tale collectors and linguists achieved prominence as a painter, draftsman and etcher. His was a chief contribution to the art of German Romanticism from Hesse. He received his first artistic training in 1805 at the Kassel Academy of Fine Arts. In 1808 and 1809 he was in Heidelberg and Landshut. From 1809 to 1814 he studied in Munich. In 1814 he fought as a volunteer soldier in the war of liberation against Napoleon. In 1816 he spent three months in Italy and returned in 1817 to Kassel. From 1824 he worked with the Baltic-German painter Gerhardt v. Reutern in Willingshausen and founded there the first German open air art colony. In 1828 he took part in the Dürer artistic memorial event in Nuremberg.
But only in 1832, at the age of 42 years, did he receive a permanent appointment at the Kassel Academy of Fine Arts. In the same year he married the daughter Marie of the painter Wilhelm Boettner, who bore him their only daughter Friederike (called “Ideke”). After the death of his first wife he married in 1845 the daughter of the Kassel General Superintendent, Friederike Ernst. He lived with his family until his death in the Böttner house at “Schöne Aussicht” (Bellevue) in Kassel.
Ludwig Emil Grimm left only a few oil paintings, but numerous drawings and printed graphics. The focus of his creativity is not so much the intellectual penetration of his designed topics, but the articulation of a romantic beauty of nature, connected with a typical for that time reflective review on “Old German” art. “I request art to be faithful to nature, without any purpose, without any manner “, – he wrote in his memoirs.
Not only the predilection for “folkishness” and the striving for the revival of the Middle Ages, but also the devotion to the small and insignificant connect him with his brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. His work is therefore not really bound to the art of history and myth painting of his time, though he saw himself as a mature artist in the tradition of the Nazarene movement. Instead, places and localities in Hesse appear as reference points to his world. In studies of nature and landscapes he shows a distinct nature and love for his country. In portraits and genre paintings he draws a vivid picture of his time. And in his cartoons, he takes a humorous image of himself and his environment.