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Anton

Graff

Artistic period 1751 to 1800

Nationality

German

Birth

1736 (Winterthur)

Death

1813 (Dresden)

Biography

Anton Graff (* 18. November 1736 in Winterthur, Switzerland; † 22. June 1813 in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony) was a Swiss classicist painter. Graff was one of the most important portrait painters of his epoch with his pictorial concept. In his portraits, he understood how to precisely grasp the character of a human being beyond the external similarity. In the late 18th century he thus became the actual creator of bourgeois portraits of women and men in Germany and at the same time the preferred portrait painter of German-speaking poets and thinkers between the Enlightenment, Weimar Classicism and Early Romanticism.

Anton Graff left posterity with an outstanding overview of the personalities of his time, in which there was hardly a great prince, statesman, general, scholar, poet, artist or merchant in Germany who did not have himself portrayed by Anton Graff. Graff's portraits thus represent historical documents. Even during his lifetime, Anton Graff and his work received much praise and recognition.