Carl Kretschmar was a student of the landscape painter Johann Friedrich Weitsch in Braunschweig before he attended the Berlin Art Academy until 1791. He also took part in the Academy exhibitions until 1846, at which he first submitted copies and later, above all, portraits. He specialized in portrait and history painting. In 1800 he won the great Academy Prize with the historical painting "The Great Elector forgives the Prince of Homburg on the battlefield of Fehrbellin" by Frederick III. was acquired. From 1803-05 Kretschmar traveled through Germany, Italy and France. He then became a full member of the Berlin Academy. In 1817 he became a professor of history painting and in 1828 even a member of the Senate of the Academy.