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Died on 22 June 1813: Anton
Graff van Dyck of Germany, Swiss German painter
specialized in portraits, born on 18 November 1736.
Graff, born in Switzerland, was the leading German portrait painter of the 18th century. He was a younger contemporary of Reynolds, with whom he is often compared but Graff really belongs to a later generation, since most of his portraits lack the trappings of the Grand Style, and he worked almost into the Biedermeier period.
He was in Augsburg by 1756 and removed to Dresden in 1766 to teach at the newly founded Academy. He recorded himself as having painted some 1240 portraits in his long career and his sitters included many of the most famous of his contemporaries — Lessing, Herder, Schiller (whom he records as having fidgeted the whole time). He also made some 322 portrait drawings in silver point, a very rare technique in the 18th century. Some fragments of an autobiography were posthumously published in 1815.
— Graff was a student of Johann Ulrich Schellenburg [1709–1795] in Winterthur and continued his training with Johann Jakob Haid in Augsburg between 1756 and 1765. He worked for the court painter Leonhard Schneider [1716–1762] in Ansbach from 1757 to 1759, producing large numbers of copies of a portrait of Frederick the Great (probably by Antoine Pesne). This was an important step in furthering his career, as were the months he spent in Regensburg (1764–1765) painting miniatures of clerics and town councilors. He was court painter to the Elector Frederick-Christian of Saxe-Weimar in Dresden from 1766 and taught at the Hochschule der Bildende Künste there. In 1771 he went to Berlin, where he painted portraits of Jakob Mendelssohn, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and J. G. Sulzer. Sulzer introduced him at court, which resulted in many commissions. He was invited several times to teach at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, but he remained in Dresden. He often went to Leipzig, and in summer he frequently went to Teplitz (now Teplice, Czech Republic) and Karlsbad (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic); he also worked in Berlin on several occasions and returned to Switzerland for visits.
— Graff's students included Heinrich Freudweiler, Johann Konrad Gessner [02 Oct 1764 – 08 May 1826], Karl August Senff, Henriette-Felicité Tassaert.
Self-Portrait at the Age of 58 (1794, 168x105cm; 1150x709pix, 112kb) _ The artist abandoned the idealized portraiture of the Rococo period and specialized in half-length portraits with naturalistic poses and subdued tones.
— The Artist's Family before the Portrait of Johann Georg Sulzer (1785; 800x597pix, 93kb)
— Le Comte Christophe Urbanowski (1791, 113x92cm; 512x410pix, 34kb)
— George Leopold de Gogul (1796; 575x419pix, 67kb)
Died on 22 June 1678: Otto
Marseus Snuffelaer van Schrieck, Dutch Baroque
Era painter born in 1619. — [Creepy creatures in dark underbrush
did not make Schrieck shriek, they made him want to take the pain to paint
It is difficult to categorize van Schrieck: he made a few traditional still-lifes, but he is best known for his mysterious dark close-ups of the live undergrowth of forest floors that give detailed views of wild flowers, weeds, thistles, and mushrooms animated by phosphorescent butterflies, insects, reptiles, and snakes. These works, strictly speaking not still-lifes, have always appealed to collectors of highly finished Dutch cabinet pictures. Naturalists have a field day identifying their flora and fauna, and so do iconographers who give detailed commentaries on their content, which are generally related to the transience theme. Van Schrieck travelled to Italy in 1648. In Rome he received the nickname Snuffelaer, because he sniffed everywhere for strange creatures and plants. He returned to his homeland a few years later. After settling in Amsterdam, he acquired a parcel of land just outside the city where he kept animals and reptiles. No doubts some are portrayed in his paintings.
— Van Schrieck traveled to Italy and stayed in Rome and Florence with the painters Matthias Withoos and Willem van Aelst, the latter his student at the time. Among his patrons were Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (reg. 1621–1670). Van Hoogstraten claimed that he met van Schrieck in Rome as late as 1652. In Rome, van Schrieck was a member of the Schildersbent. About 1657 he returned with van Aelst to Amsterdam, where he had a small property and got married on 25 April 1664. An inventory of the contents of his house was made in July 1678, shortly after his death, in which more than 300 paintings are listed. Besides his own paintings, there were works by Cornelis van Poelenburch, Simon de Vlieger, Ludolf Bakhuizen, Jan Wijnants, Lucas van Leyden, and van Aelst.
— Van Schrieck's students included Willem van Aelst.
Still-Life with Insects and Amphibians (1662, 51x68cm) _ Among the Dutch still-life painters Otto Marseus van Schrieck has a special position. His somewhat exotic oeuvre has only come to be appreciated in more recent decades. He nearly always presents a small section of the woods with thick dark undergrowth, and a hidden microcosm in which frogs, toads, snakes and lizards crowd together, fighting for their lives. Van Schrieck knew the habits of these animals very well and is known to have bred reptiles and snakes himself. This painting also shows bizarre botanical species, such as a coral fungus on the left and thistles, under which a lizard - a so-called lacerta - is hiding, about to attack the toad. Van Schrieck has designed an idealized habitat, modeled on biological dioramas, which are illustrations with a three-dimensional effect. However, although the world of his paintings reflects the zoological and botanical interests of a well-versed science amateur, it is still not free from religious associations. Indeed, it is the religious meaning which determines the selection and composition of the animals and plants. The snake, the toad and the lizard are the 'unclean animals', the serpent had negative connotations and was regarded as an incarnation of evil, and such, was a favourite subject for depicting evil. _ detail _ This painting also shows bizarre botanical species, such as a coral fungus on the left and thistles, under which a lizard — a lacerta — is hiding, about to attack the toad.
Still-life with Plants and Reptiles (1667, 58x45cm) _ Schrieck developed a subgenre of reptile-insect-and-plant paintings. In this painting that combines animals and plants typical for August, he made an impression of butterfly wings into the paint, to achieve lifelike texture, and implanted at least one leg of a fly. Van Schrieck may have developed these interest in the lively scientific culture of Rome, where he met Samuel van Hoogstraten in 1652.
— Snakes and Butterflies in an Underbrush (Sep 1670, 610x488pix, 45kb) _ L'artiste se spécialisa dans la production d'étranges et inquiétantes vues de sous-bois animés par des insectes, papillons ou lézards et marqués par une lumière tranchée et un jour ciselé, d'une précision virtuose qui plaît beaucoup de nos jours.
— Snake, Frog, and Butterflies (61x41cm; 472x380pix, 36kb) _ Peintre de natures mortes et de scènes animalières, Van Schrieck est l'inspirateur d'une véritable école spécialisée dans le sous-bois, et l'initiateur de ces compositions étranges et funestes. Avec une précision extrême, il détaille les formes végétales et utilise une profusion de feuillages luisants, donnant à la nature un aspect inquiétant qui tranche avec la sérénité du paysage situé en arrière-plan. En exprimant la violence des luttes animales, ses sujets ont pour vocation de souligner le côté éphémère, fragile et précaire de la vie.