Adam Elsheimer (1578 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany — 1610 in Rome, Italy) was an influential artist in the early 17th century. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest As a means of recording the passage of Time, the 17th Century was that Century which lasted from 1601 - 1700 in the Gregorian calendar His paintings were small scale, nearly all painted on copper plates, of the type often known as cabinet paintings. A cabinet painting (or "cabinet picture" is a small Painting, typically no larger than about two feet in either dimension but often much smaller They include a variety of light effects, and an innovative treatment of landscape. He was an influence on many other artists, including Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15 1606 &ndash October 4 1669 was a Dutch painter and etcher.
Elsheimer was one of ten children and the son of a master-tailor. His father's house (which survived until destroyed by Allied bombs in 1944) was a few metres from the church where Albrecht Dürer's Heller Altarpiece was then displayed. Albrecht Dürer (ˈalbʀɛçt ˈdyʀɐ ( May 21, 1471 &ndash April 6, 1528) was a German painter, Printmaker He was apprenticed to the artist Philipp Uffenbach. Philipp Uffenbach (1566–1636 was a German painter and etcher He probably visited Strasbourg in 1596. Strasbourg (Strasbourg stʁazbuʁ Alsatian: Strossburi,; Straßburg) is the capital and principal City of the Alsace région At the age of twenty, he travelled to Italy via Munich, where he is documented in 1598. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Munich (München; Minga is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany.
His stay in Venice is undocumented, but the influence on his style is clear. Venice ( Italian: Venezia, Venetian: Venesia or Venexia) is a city in Northern Italy, the capital of the He probably worked as an assistant to Johann Rottenhammer, some of whose drawings he owned. Johann Rottenhammer, or Hans Rottenhammer, (1564&ndash1625 was a German painter born in Munich, where he studied until 1588 under Hans Donauer the Elder Rottenhammer was a German who had been living in Italy for some years, and was the first German painter to specialize in cabinet paintings. A cabinet painting (or "cabinet picture" is a small Painting, typically no larger than about two feet in either dimension but often much smaller Uffenbach had specialized in large altarpieces, and although Elsheimer's earliest small paintings on copper seem to date from before he arrived in Italy, Rottenhammer's influence is clear on his mature work.
Elsheimer is believed to have produced some significant works in Venice, such as The Baptism of Christ (National Gallery, London) and The Holy Family (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) which show the influence of the Venetian painters Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, as well as Rottenhammer. The collection The Gemäldegalerie prides itself on its scientific methodology in collecting and displaying art Tintoretto (real name Jacopo Comin; September 29, 1518 - May 31, 1594) was one of the greatest painters of the Venetian school and Paolo Veronese (1528 – April 19 1588 was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana
In early 1600, Elsheimer arrived in Rome and quickly made friends with contacts of Rottenhammer, notably Giovanni Faber, a Papal doctor, botanist and collector originally from Bamberg. The Alte Pinakothek (Old Pinakothek is an Art museum situated in the Kunstareal in Munich, Germany. Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 Giovanni Faber or Johann Faber (1574&ndash1629 was a German papal doctor Botanist and art collector originally from Bamberg in Bavaria, Bamberg is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main He was Curator of the Vatican Botanical Garden, and a member of the Accademia dei Lincei, a small intellectual coterie founded in 1603, and mainly concerned with the natural sciences. The Accademia dei Lincei, (literally the " Academy of the Lynxes" but also known as the Lincean Academy) is an Italian science academy located
Another friend of Rottenhammer was the Flemish landscape painter Paul Bril, already established in Rome, who was (with Faber) a witness at Elsheimer's marriage, painted a picture together with him (now Chatsworth House), and was owed money by him at his death. Paul ( 1554 - 1626) and Mattheus ( 1550 - 1583) Brill (or Bril) were brothers both born in Antwerp Chatsworth House is a large Country house at Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England 3½ miles north east of Bakewell. Like Faber, Bril was a long-term resident in Rome who had converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism, as Elsheimer did later. Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther As a Christian Ecclesiastical term Catholic —from the Greek adjective, meaning "general" or "universal"—is described
Both Faber and Bril knew Rubens, who was in Rome in 1601, and who became another friend, later reproaching Elsheimer for not producing more work. He knew David Teniers the Elder, recently Rubens' pupil, and there is evidence that they lodged together. David Teniers the Elder (1582-1649 Flemish painter was born at Antwerp. In 1604 Karel van Mander, a Dutchman recently returned from Rome, published his Schilder-Boeck which praised Elsheimer's work, and described him as slow-working and making few drawings. He also spent much time in churches, studying the works of the masters. Other writers mention his exceptional visual memory, his melancholy and his kind-heartedness. In a letter after his death, Rubens wrote: "he had no equal in small figures, landscapes, and in many other subjects. . . . one could have expected things from him that one has never seen before and never will see. "
In 1606, Elsheimer married Carola Antonia Stuarda da Francoforte (ie Stuart of Frankfurt- she was of Scottish ancestry and a fellow Frankfurter), and in 1609 they had a son. The son was not mentioned in a census a year later, possibly (Klessman says optimistically) because he had been put out to a wet-nurse. A wet nurse is a woman who breast feeds a baby that is not her own She was the recent widow of the artist Nicolas de Breul (born in Verdun) and after Elsheimer's death remarried an Italian artist, Ascanio Quercia, within a year of his death. Verdun (medieval Wirten official name before 1970 Verdun-sur-Meuse) is a city and commune Elsheimer converted to Catholicism by 1608 (possibly 1606). He was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca, the Roman painters' Guild in 1606, giving them a self-portrait (his only portrait, and only painting on canvas) now in the Uffizi. The Accademia di San Luca, (the "Academy of Saint Luke" was an association of artists in Rome founded in 1593 with the directorship of Federico Zuccari, with the A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade The earliest guilds were formed as confraternities of workers The Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi one of the oldest and most famous Art Museums in the world is housed in the Palazzo degli Uffizi, a In spite of his fame and talents, he appears to have both lived and died in difficult financial circumstances.
Elsheimer's painting of Tobias and the Angel (1602–1603) (the "small" Tobias - now Frankfurt) was especially well received because of its new conception of landscape. This picture was engraved by Count Hendrick Goudt and as a result was published across Europe. However, his association with Goudt, who lodged and trained with him for several years, was difficult. Elsheimer seems to have borrowed money from Goudt, which according to one account resulted in his brief incarceration in Debtor's prison. A debtors' prison is a Prison for those who are unable to pay a Debt. After Elsheimer's early death in 1610, Goudt owned several of his pictures. Goudt made seven engravings of Elsheimer's paintings, which were crucial in spreading his influence, as very few of his paintings were viewable even by artists; as cabinet paintings they were mostly kept in small and very private rooms. Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it A cabinet painting (or "cabinet picture" is a small Painting, typically no larger than about two feet in either dimension but often much smaller
Elsheimer had a definite preference for chosing rare or original subjects, both for his mythological and religious paintings. Jupiter & Mercury in the house of Philemon & Baucis, (c1608, now Dresden) is based on an episode in Ovid, and had never been painted before. In Roman mythology, Jupiter was the king of the gods and the god of Sky and Thunder. "Alipes" redirects here For the Centipede Genus, see Alipes (centipede. In Ovid 's moralizing fable ( Metamorphoses VIII which stands on the periphery of Greek mythology and Roman mythology, Baucis and Philemon Dresden (etymologically from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the riverside forest, Drježdźany is the Capital city of the German Publius Ovidius Naso ( March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD was a Roman poet known to the English -speaking world as Ovid who wrote on many topics including The Mocking of Ceres (US private collection, copy Prado), Apollo and Coronis (Liverpool), and Il Contento (Edinburgh) were equally new. PRADO is a component-based and event-driven Web application framework for PHP 5 Some of his religious scenes were more conventional, but his selection of the moment to depict, as in St Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom (London), is often unusual.
His prefectionism, and an apparent tendency to depression resulted in a small total output, despite the small size of all his pictures. In all about forty paintings are now generally agreed to be by him (see Kressmann below). He made a few etchings, not very successfully. However, his work was highly regarded by other artists and a few important collectors for its quality. He had a clear and direct influence on other Northern artists who were in Rome such as Paul Bril, Jan Pynas and Pieter Lastman, later Rembrandt's master, who was probably in Rome by 1605. Paul ( 1554 - 1626) and Mattheus ( 1550 - 1583) Brill (or Bril) were brothers both born in Antwerp Pieter Lastman (1583 Amsterdam - buried 4 April 1633, Amsterdam was a Dutch painter. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15 1606 &ndash October 4 1669 was a Dutch painter and etcher. Rembrandt's first dated work is a Stoning of St Stephen which appears to be a response to Elsheimer's painting of the subject, now in Edinburgh. Some works by Italian artists, such as the six pictures from Ovid by Carlo Saraceni now in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, also show Elsheimer's clear influence. Publius Ovidius Naso ( March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD was a Roman poet known to the English -speaking world as Ovid who wrote on many topics including Carlo Saraceni ( Venice 1579-Venice 16 June 1620) was an Italian early- Baroque painter whose reputation as a "first-class The Palace and Museum of Capodimonte is a grand Bourbon Palazzo in Naples, Italy, formerly the summer residence of the kings Naples ( Napoli, Neapolitan: Nàpule) is a historic City in southern Italy, the Capital of the Rubens, who owned at least four of his works, knew Elsheimer in Rome, and praised him highly in a letter after his death.
In a wider sense, he was influential in three respects. Firstly his night scenes were highly original. His lighting effects in general were very subtle, and very different from those of Caravaggio. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, usually just known as Caravaggio, (28 September 1571 – 18 July 1610 was an Italian Artist active in Rome He often uses as many as five different sources of light, and graduates the light relatively gently, with the less well-lit parts of the composition often containing important parts of it.
Secondly, his combination of poetic landscape with large foreground figures gives the landscape a prominence that had rarely been seen since the Early Renaissance. His landscapes do not always feature an extensive view; often the lushness of the vegetation closes it off. They are more realistic, but no less poetic, than those of Bril or Jan Brueghel, and play a part in the formation of those of Poussin and Claude. Nicolas Poussin (15 June 1594 – 19 November 1665 was a French painter in the classical style Claude Lorrain (also Claude Gellée or Le Lorrain) ( Lorraine, c His treatment of large figures with a landscape backdrop looks forward, through Rubens and van Dyck, to the English portrait in the eighteenth century. Soon after his death he became very popular with English collectors, notably King Charles I of England, the Earl of Arundel, and the George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and over half his paintings have been in English collections at some time (nearly one third are still in the UK). Charles I, (19 November 1600 &ndash 30 January 1649 was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution. Thomas Howard 21st Earl of Arundel 4th Earl of Surrey and 1st Earl of Norfolk ( 7 July 1585 &ndash 4 October 1646) was a prominent English George Villiers 1st Duke of Buckingham ( 28 August 1592 &ndash 23 August 1628) (surname ˈvɪlɚz ("villers" was the Favourite
Thirdly, his integration of Italian styles with the German tradition he was trained in is perhaps more effective than that of any Northern painter since Dürer (with the exception of his friend Rubens). His compositions tend to underplay the drama of the events they depict (in noticeable contrast to those of Rubens), but often show the start of moments of transformation. His figures are relatively short and stocky, and reflect little of classical ideals. Their poses and gestures are unflamboyant, and their facial expressions resemble those in Early Netherlandish painting rather than the bella figura of most Italian Renaissance work.
The largest collection of his work is in Frankfurt. The Alte Pinakothek, Munich has two of his finest night-scene paintings, and Berlin, Bonn, Dresden and Hamburg have paintings. The Alte Pinakothek (Old Pinakothek is an Art museum situated in the Kunstareal in Munich, Germany. The National Gallery, London has three paintings with others in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Apsley House, Windsor Castle, Petworth House, the Wellcome Institute and Liverpool. The National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh, is the national Art gallery of Scotland. Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow. Apsley House, also known as Number One London, was the London residence of the Dukes of Wellington and stands alone at Hyde Park Corner Windsor Castle, in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, is the largest inhabited Castle in the world and dating back to the time of Petworth House in Petworth, West Sussex, England, is a late 17th-century Mansion, rebuilt in 1688 by Charles Seymour The Wellcome Trust was established in 1936 as an independent charity funding research to improve human and animal health Liverpool ( is a City and Metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary The only work on public display outside Europe is a tiny but beautiful one in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. The Kimbell Art Museum is situated in the Cultural District of Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Fort Worth is the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas and the seventeenth-largest city in the United States.
There are drawings, especially in the Louvre and Edinburgh. The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre located in Paris is the world's most visited art museum a historic monument and a national museum of France Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow.
Note: There are other pictures in Wikipedia: Commons (link below), but these are disputed attributions, not accepted by recent catalogues raissonees.
The Flight to Egypt, Munich
Venus and Cupid, Berlin
Print based on Uffizi self-portrait
Photo of 1900 of the house in Frankfurt where Elsheimer was born and grew up. Destroyed 1944.