Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert was born in Oppeln on September 18, 1865. He was a German painter, author and illustrator specializing in animal pictures. At the age of 17 Kuhnert began a technical and commercial apprenticeship, which he failed to complete. From 1883 to 1887 Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert had a scholarship to study at the "Königliche Akademische Hochschule für Bildende Künste".
Kuhnert's main residence was in Berlin, from where he traveled north and to Egypt, East Africa and India, producing extensive landscape and animal studies. His favorite motifs were African lions. He studied and drew tropical animals in their natural habitat, not only in zoological gardens.
In 1894 Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert married the 18-year-old Emilie Caroline Wilhelmine Ottilie Alvine Herdikerhoff, with whom he had one daughter. During a study trip to Ceylon Kuhnert left his wife and was divorced in 1909. That year Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert also illustrated the book "Tierleben der Erde", which he had co-written with the zoologist Johann Wilhelm Haacke. In 1913 he entered into his second marriage with Gerda von Jankowski. His wife died on his 60th birthday.
Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert himself died on February 11, 1926, during a rehabilitative stay in Switzerland (Flims, Grisons).
Today, Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert is still known as one of the most important German animal painters of his time. His work includes drawings, etchings, watercolors and oil paintings. Not only a painter and illustrator but also a hunter, Kuhnert often accepted great adversity to track down and capture his motifs in their natural habitat.