(b ?Prague, 1667; d Nuremberg, 16 July 1740). Bohemian portrait painter, active outside his native country for almost his whole career. His family were Protestants (members of the Moravian Brethren) and had to emigrate from Bohemia to Slovakia when Kupecký was a boy. He trained in Vienna, then in about 1687 moved to Italy, where he remained for more than twenty years, mainly in Rome. In about 1709 he returned to Vienna to work for Prince Adam von Liechtenstein. He remained based in Vienna until 1723 (during this time he made brief visits to Bohemia), then moved to Nuremberg (perhaps because of renewed religious persecution), where he spent the rest of his life. In this final period he became a friend of Johann Caspar Füssli (see Fuseli), who wrote a biography of him, published in 1758. Kupecký's portraits are notable for their vigorous characterization and strong chiaroscuro. He was a great admirer of Rembrandt and like him painted numerous self-portraits.
From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.