The Circle of Johann Christoph Dietzsch (German, 1710-1769), A Wild Poppy, A Fly on one Leaf
The Circle of Johann Christoph Dietzsch (German, 1710-1769)
A Wild Poppy, A Fly on one Leaf
Bodycolor on prepared vellum and black ink framing lines
Vellum size: 10 3/4 x 8 in
Frame size: 21 x 17 3/4 in
Provenance: J. de Vos (L.1450) 1883, lot 636; C.P Van Eeghen (his mark verso); by descent
Exhibitions: Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, De Verzameling van Mr Chr. P. van Eeghen, 3 April 26
May 1958, no. 137.
Johann Christoph Dietzsch was a member of an important family of painters, engravers, and musicians that flourished in Nuremberg during the eighteenth century. The patronage of Dr. Christoph Trew, the great botanist and bibliographer, made Nuremberg one of the foremost centers of botanical art in the world, and the Dietzsch family was one of the most noted of the era.
Even at the time of its production, their work was much sought after by collectors in both the Netherlands and in England. It is recorded that some of the best known painters of the time accepted Dietzsch works as a form of payment, signaling the great reputation they attained during their lifetimes -- a celebration that has continued to grow in the intervening centuries. The family was particularly known for its marvelous renderings of flowers and fruit in watercolor and gouache. Employed at the court of Nuremberg, the Deitzschs drew extensively for engravers there, and their work was of such outstanding quality that it was used by Trew and Georg Ehret for a number of plates in the Hortus Nitidissimis (1750-1786).
The skill and mastery of the Dietzsch attracted numerous followers, as can be seen by this watercolor. The graceful fluidity of the arching poppy stems and exuberance of the blousy bloom are hallmarks of the work of Johann Christoph Dietzsch and are elements copied by Ehret in the Hortus. Moreover, the artist shows remarkable skill in brushwork, obtaining mesmerizing striation of color throughout the poppy petals, while still conveying a sense of the lightness and ephemeral nature of the bloom.
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