Johann Heinrich

Germany • 1609−1683

Biography and information

German painter, engraver. Like J. Liss, and C. Lot, spent most of his life in Italy. The thirty years war in Germany forced the artists to leave the country. With 1633 in Italy, where it attracted very different masters — Caravaggio, Pietro da Cortona, Bernini, Northern artists italianity. About 10 years he worked in Naples (1638), studied realistic rough manner B. Cavallino, his show of spectacular lighting. After the Treaty of Westphalia 1648, he returned to Germany. Worked in the engraving, which contributed to his fame. Painting the Scythians at the tomb of Ovid (C. 1640, Budapest, Museum of fine arts), Dresden in the tradition of Northern masters portrays the common people, striving to convey the charm of the Italian landscape with the ruins.

The German artist. Schönfeld studied in Memmingen, and in 1627-1629 he worked in Stuttgart. Hence, like most German artists, it is through the Basel and "other places in Germany", as reported Sandrart, went to Italy. Stay in Italy (1630 - 1640; Sandrart specifies a different date) had a decisive influence on Schonfeldt. His first works are still subject to the tradition of the great Mannerist Goltzius, Muller, van Valkenburgh; they are replaced by work performed in a more individual manner. In Rome, where the artist worked at the court of Prince Orsini, he showed a taste for monumental religious compositions inspired by (for example of Mannerist artists, formed in Italy) Adam Elsheimer and his circle. It is unknown how much time the artist spent in Rome; the only document relevant to Shenfeld, is the mention of a certain George, Belcampo Teutonico, the guarantor of a German (1633). Then he arrived in Naples, where there was a circle of artists whose influence on Schonfeldt was particularly important because of the Roman monumental painting, it is opposed to the more intimate paintings with poetic motifs and exquisite colors, that are embodied in the broad panoramas and the small compositions of the master. Naples, where the artist lived for a long time, gave his work a new. Such works as "Triumph of David" (Karlsruhe, Kunsthalle), reflect the influence of Neapolitan battle - Aniello Falcone, Salvator Rosa and Domenico Gargiulo. In Naples, the artist creates two splendid "Marina" (Rome, Gal. Pallavicini), two versions of "the flood" (Vienna, Museum of history of art; Kassel, State. the art collection). Probably a direct relationship existed between Sepelcom and Cavallino, who was younger than him by 13 years. Exquisite pictures Cavallino with deep shadows, with a clear chiaroscuro and picturesque transfer of the atmosphere have many features that are close to the works of the German artist, however, is not known to what extent the master one influenced the other. Echoes of the art of Jacques Callot is obvious in the construction of the compositions and dry figures. Brokered Callot, Dresden discovers the work of the Strasbourg painter and engraver J. G. Boron. Shenfeld, most of the paintings which are executed in Italy, are attributed to the "serious history, poetic fables and Pastorals" (Sandrart), ancient, mythological and biblical scenes with multiple characters. Choice of its themes and transparency of color schönfeld anticipates the painting of the XVIII century Flexible silhouettes stand out against the sophisticated gray tones. The viewer at a glance covers the long-term composition, enveloped in silvery coldness of the atmosphere; light areas contrast with the dark and emphasize depth. In the solemn scenes of the ancient ruins and the portico, as if in a theater, invite the viewer deep into the picture. Here, as on Roman friezes appear processions of figures ("Triumph of Venus", the Berlin-Dahlem Museum; "Procession of Bacchus", Naples, Capodimonte; "Triumph of David", Karlsruhe, Kunsthalle). However, along with the cheerful and whimsical solemn processions, an important place in the work Schonfeldt is a bucolic idyll of Arcadia, in which, in ancient painting, the characters are in harmony with the surrounding nature, as well as such key to Baroque themes as the futility of all earthly things. Dead animals, candles, soap bubbles, shimmering with the colors of the rainbow, ruins and hourglass, all these things are not easy accessories, but allegories, symbolizing time and the fragility of things. To these issues one should add treasure hunters and the scene of the massacre, depicted by the artist with a dark tension. Ancient gravestones and sarcophagi, symbols of the greatness of the past, interpreted by Sepelcom in a light manner. After more than fifteen years in Italy, schönfeld returned to Germany at the end of the Thirty years war. There is no exact chronology of his oeuvre in the period after arrival in Stuttgart in 1627-1629, and until 1651, when he performed "SV. Trinity" in the Church. in Biberach. The inscription on the back of the painting "Jacob and Rachel at the fountain" (Stuttgart, State. Gal.) says that in 1647, he could be the Director of the gallery of count Bruhl in Dresden. His works are only dated from 1652, when the artist moved to Augsburg. However, upon returning from Italy the creative genius Schonfeldt fades away. Working many orders of monasteries and churches of southern Germany, he creates mainly altarpieces, which demonstrates an extraordinary virtuosity, but lack of expressive power, so characteristic of his early works. Influence Schonfeldt became one of the greatest German religious painters of the XVII century was reflected in the works of his disciples Augsburg (Johann Hasse, Isaac Fishes and Johann of Shellenberger) and manifested in the use of classical formulas is an architectonic structure whose grace recalls Poussin, and accurate composition. Despite the elements that are usually attributed to the Rococo, and which appeared only a century later, art Schonfeldt almost no impact on the subsequent development of German painting.