Elsheimer, Adam

Elsheimer, Adam

(ä`däm ĕls`hīmər), 1578–1610?, German painter. After studying in Frankfurt, Munich, and Venice, he settled in Rome and worked for Pope Paul V. He painted small pictures on copper. They were chiefly of biblical and mythological subjects with landscape backgrounds, which he executed with minute precision. He had numerous students (including Pieter Lastman, who was the teacher of Rembrandt) and is thought to have had a considerable influence on Dutch landscape painting. Elsheimer was particularly successful in rendering light effects. His Good Samaritan is in the Louvre. Tobias and Coronis are both in the National Gallery in London.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Elsheimer, Adam

 

Born Mar. 18, 1578, in Frankfurt; died Dec. 11, 1610, in Rome. German painter.

Elsheimer studied under F. Uffenbach in Frankfurt. He worked in Venice from 1598 to 1600 and in Rome from 1600. Most of his paintings are small-scale works, mainly on copper, in a painstaking style reminiscent of the miniature. He produced religious and mythological scenes, usually in simple, domestic settings, such as Jupiter and Mercury in the Home of Philemon and Baucis (Dresden Picture Gallery). In his landscapes he combined his poetic and intimate perception of nature with precise three-dimensional composition, for example, Landscape With Round Temple (National Gallery, Prague). Especially characteristic of Elsheimer’s works were his night scenes, noted for their exceptional soft chiaroscuro transitions. They include Flight Into Egypt (1609, Old Pinakothek, Munich). Elsheimer had a significant influence on such masters as Claude Lorraine, Rembrandt, and Rubens.

REFERENCE

Weizsäcker, H. Adam Elsheimer, der Maler von Frankfurt, vols. 1 (books 1–2) and 2. Berlin, 1936–52.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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