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Adam Elsheimer

1578 - 1610

Elsheimer was a highly influential artist who painted small-scale works on copper. He combined precision of technique with inventive explorations of landscapes, multiple light sources and exotic figures, to create different moods. His output was small but influenced artists of the calibre of Rubens, Rembrandt and Claude. His compositions were disseminated through the medium of prints.

Elsheimer was born and trained in Frankfurt. In about 1598 he appears to have been in Munich. He then travelled south and for about two years worked in Venice; 'The Baptism of Christ' was apparently painted there.

The dynamic compositions and spectacularlighting effects of the work of Venetian artists like Tintoretto and Veronese had a profound influence on him. From 1600 until his death Elsheimer lived and worked in Rome, where Rubens struck up a friendship with him.