campfire after Elsheimer


Landscape with four figures grouped around a fire next to a cliff, their animals gathered around them; after a painting believed to be by Adam Elsheimer. Plate 30 from the art catalog Cabinet de Monsieur Poullain, which appeared in Paris in 1781. The engraver is unknown. The image is 16.5 x 13 cm, in good condition, and comes in a passe-partout.

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Adam Elsheimer, also written as Elzheimer (Frankfurt am Main, baptized March 18, 1578 – Rome, December 11, 1610) was a painter of German descent who spent much of his life active in Italy. Elsheimer acquired the style of the German and Flemish painters in Germany and is associated, among other things, with the painter Albrecht Altdorfer. In 1598 he visited Venice where he studied works by Tintoretto and Bassano, among others. Elsheimer mainly focused on vivid, brightly lit scenes in landscapes. In these works the Italian and Flemish influences come together in a lively late Mannerist style. He painted cabinet pieces almost exclusively on copper plates. In 1600 he settled in Rome under the patronage of Hendrick Goudt, who also made engravings of his work. His Italian work is not well documented and can hardly be arranged chronologically. One of the hallmarks of Elsheimer that can help with recognition of his work is his attention to detail and realism in his work. This distinguishes him from many other painters from this period. His preference was to create night scenes such as The Mocking of Ceres and Flight into Egypt (1609). This latter work with its beautiful chiaroscuro brought great fame to the next generation of Northern painters, including Rubens, Rembrandt and Claude Lorrain.