FRIEDRICH FÖRSTER, (1791-1868), a German historian, brother of Ernst Joachim Förster the painter, was born at Münchengrosserstädt on the Saale, September 24, 1791. After receiving his early education in the gymnasium at Altenburg, he studied theology at Jena, but subsequently devoted his attention for a time chiefly to archaeology and the history of art. On the uprising of Prussia against France in 1813 he joined the army, where he soon attained the rank of captain. At the close of the war he was appointed professor at the school of engineering and artillery in Berlin, but on account of certain democratic writings he was dismissed from that office in 1817. He then became connected with various literary journals, and in 1830 undertook with his brother an art tour in Italy. Shortly after his return he received an appointment at the royal museum of Berlin, with the title of court councillor. Förster was the founder and secretary of the Wissenschaft-lichen Kunstverein (scientific art union) of Berlin. He died at Berlin, 8th November 1868.
The following are his principal works: Der Feldmarschall Blücher und seine Umgebungen, Leipsic, 1821 ; Friedrich's d. Gr. Jugendjahre, Bildung, und Geist, Berlin, 1822 ; Allrecht von Wallen-stein, Potsdam, 1834; Wallenstein's Process, Leipsic, 1844; Geschichte Friedrich Wilhelms I., Königs von Preussen, 3 vols., Potsdam, 1834-35 ; and Die Köfe und Cabinete Europas im 18'"' Jahrh., 3 vols., Potsdam, 1836-39. He also wrote a number of popular historical works, the principal of which are Neuere und neueste preuss. Geschichte, smA Geschichte der Befreiungskriege, 1813,1814, and 1815, both of which have reached several editions ; and besides editing an edition of Hegel's works, and adapting several of Shakespeare's and other dramatists' plays for the theatre, he is the author of a number of poems, which were collected and published at Berlin 1838, and of a historical drama, Gustav Adolf, 1832. The beginning of an autobiography of Förster was published at Berlin in 1873, under the title Kunst und Leben.