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Born Nov. 18. 1736. in Winterthur; died June 22, 1813. in Dresden. Swiss painter.
Graff did most of his work in Germany; he began teaching at the Academy of Arts in Dresden in 1766. He painted over 1,500portraits (including a self-portrait, c. 1794, Dresden Art Gallery) and made 322 portrait miniatures with a silver stylus, depicting several prominent writers, philosophers, and scientists. Graff’s realistic portraits are imbued with the spirit of the bourgeois enlightenment of the 18th and early 19th century and are marked by their simplicity and absence of idealization. Graff emphasized the modesty, dignity, and freedom and ease of manner in the people he painted.