Reference Entry

Tischbein, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm

in Benezit Dictionary of Artists

ISBN: 9780199773787
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199899913 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.B00183213
Tischbein, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm

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German, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 15 February 1751, in Haina; died 26 June 1829, in Eutin.

Painter, engraver (etching), draughtsman, collector. Historical subjects, mythological subjects, allegorical subjects, portraits, historical portraits, genre scenes, animals, landscapes with figures.

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm was the pupil of his uncle, Johann Heinrich the Elder. He began his artistic career restoring paintings and copying old masters in the Hamburg studio of his relative, Johann Jacob Tischbein. In 1773, he travelled to Kassel to work as a portrait painter; in 1777, he visited Dresden and Berlin, where he painted the portrait of the Queen of Prussia. In 1779, he was sent to Rome as an envoy of the Hesse court. He also visited Switzerland, where he made a number of drawings for the cleric and writer Johann Kaspar Lavater, and in 1787 he accompanied Goethe on a journey to Naples, where he was appointed director of the city's academy of fine art. A close companion of the poet, he may have influenced Goethe's uncompromising classicism and dislike of Romantic painting. Tischbein was a protégé of Lord Hamilton: he painted the portrait of the celebrated Emma, Lady Hamilton, and engraved the English nobleman's collection of Greek vases. He escaped the French occupation of Naples, fleeing to Kassel and, later, to Hamburg. He is recorded in Eutin in 1808, where he painted portraits until the end of his life. Tischbein's celebrated portrait of the young Goethe (in Frankfurt) demonstrates his masterly draughtsmanship and artful use of discreet yet vibrant colour. The picture typifies the artist's particular brand of 'humane Classicism': a bright, joyful, perenially charming masterpiece by a leading member of the distinguished Tischbein family of painters....

Reference Entry.  961 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; Prints and Printmaking ; 19th-Century Art ; 18th-Century Art

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