First lessons artistic skills of Karl Rottmann received from his father, artist Frederick Rottmann, who taught drawing at the University of Heidelberg. In his early years Carl Rottmann painted pictures depicting atmospheric phenomena.
In 1821, Rottmann moved to Munich, where he began the next phase of his artistic career. In 1824 he married friedericke, Schell, daughter of his uncle, Friedrich Ludwig von Scilla, who was the supervisor of the Hofgarten Park in Munich. Marriage Rottmann opened the road to court. King Ludwig I helped Rottmann to make a trip to Italy in 1826-27 to the artist was able to fill up the subjects of his art, which until then was limited to local landscapes. On return, Rottmann received from the king an order for a series of large landscapes of Italy for the arcades of the Munich Hofgarten. Established in 1833, the cycle of 28 frescoes reflected the affection Ludwig to Italy and put landscape painting on a par with the historic that had prevailed until then in the monumental orders of the king. In honor of this event, king Ludwig even wrote distichon.
In 1832, after the construction of the Greek throne, son of Ludwig I, Otto Rottmann, received from the king a new order on a series of landscapes dedicated to the nature of Greece, which marked the third stage in the artist's work. The original Greek cycle, as well as Italian, had to stay in Hofgarten, but later 23 large-format landscape is located in a separate hall of the "Neue Pinakothek" — Rottmann Hall, which until 1944, when the building of the art Museum was destroyed, was the culmination of the picturesque collection of Ludwig I. Greek landscapes Rottmann reunited in a restored "New Pinakothek" only in 2003 on the occasion of the celebration of its 150th anniversary.
In 1841, Rottmann received from Ludwig I the title of court painter. Rottmann, died at the age of 53 years. It is considered the most famous representative of the artistic dynasty of Ratmanov.