Josef the Elder

Germany • 1564−1609

Biography and information

German artist and architect.

The son of architect Daniel Heinz Sr., Joseph Heinz studied with Hans Bock the Elder, and in 1584 went to Rome, where he spent three years, played an important role in its development. Working with antiquities, and making drawings from the paintings, Polidoro and Raphael (Vienna, Albertina; Nuremberg, Museum), thanks to Hans von Aachen, he discovered the works of Correggio and Parmigianino, made a significant impact on all subsequent work of the artist (e.g., a copy of the Parmigianino painting of "Cupid carving a bow" from the Vienna Museum of art history, Munich, Old Pinakothek). In 1591 Heinz came to Prague and became court painter of Rudolph II; later, by his sovereign, returned to Rome, and then, in 1593, Florence. In addition, he worked in Graz (1603), Innsbruck (1604), Augsburg (1604-1608), where he performed a variety of decorative compositions and paintings on religious themes ("Pieta with angels", C. St. Michael), and again in Prague. Along with B. Sprangers and Hans von Aachen, Heinz, a kind of artist (his early work is marked by influence of Holbein), and a good portrait ("Portrait of Rudolf II", 1594, Vienna Museum of art history), was one of the most typical representatives of the Prague mannerism. He was inspired by the works of Correggio, from whom he borrowed the female figure, full of sensual charm, soft texture and cool lighting ("Diana and Actaeon", CA. 1600; "Venus and Adonis", 1609, Vienna Museum of art history); he was also a subtle colorist.