Born in königsberg. Student of the Academy of fine Arts (in 1837, as an officer of the Preobrazhensky life guards regiment. The Lithuanian regiment, he began to attend classes battle painting Academy of fine Arts). Received medals: in 1839 - 2 silver; in 1840, 1 silver for the painting "the Battle of Levenberg"; in 1843 - 2 gold for the program "Battle at Kulevcha"; in 1844 - 1 gold for the painting "the Capture of Warsaw"; and in 1847 sent grayco retired for 6 years; in 1849-50, he went back and got permission again to go abroad for graduation, paintings from the era of the seven years war. In 1850, the title of academician, without execution of the program; in 1858 - the title of Professor. (Kondakov)
The future painter was born in the famous German family in the service of the Russian Emperor (a brother of the artist was chief of the Russian army during the Crimean war, the other was for the Navy Department, made under the Russian flag around the world with the opening of a number of Islands in the Pacific ocean). The future artist and he received an excellent military education, he served in the life guards regiment of Lithuania. However, the desire for art outweighed the prestige and prospects of military service: from 1839 to 1844 A. E. Kotzebue is so successfully engaged, under the leadership of A. I. Sauerweid in the classroom batalicheskih painting Academy of fine arts, at the end of the training receives the order to paint pictures of the Emperor Nicholas I.
In a pensioner's trip artist visits many places of military glory of Russian arms. This will help A. E. Kotzebue to implement in future paintings of historical battles. List the key paintings of the painter: "the Battle of Narva on 19 November 1700", "storming the fortress Noteburg October 11, 1702", "Battle of zorndorf", "Capture of Berlin", "Russian troops crossing the devil's bridge", "Battle in Malinskoj valley", "the Life guards Izmailovo regiment in the battle of Borodino".
Serious illness found batalicheskih Professor of painting at the Imperial Academy of arts of A. E. Kotzebue during the work on canvas "the Capture of SHIPKA" — complete the plan the artist has failed.