Johann Heinrich Baumann
|Born||February 9, 1753|
Mitau, Duchy of Courland and Semigallia
|Died||July 29, 1832(aged 79)|
|Alma mater||University of Erfurt|
Early life and educationEdit
Baumann went to University of Erfurt to study theology in 1773–1776. However, in Erfurt he took up painting, under the influence of Jacob Samuel Beck (1715–1778), a notable local painter specialising in animal portraits in the then-prevailing Baroque style. After his studies, Baumann returned to his Baltic homeland Courland but would henceforth pursue a career as an artist and not as a priest.
Being a keen hunter, Baumann travelled as far as present-day Lithuania, Russia and Belarus on hunting expeditions. He also wrote anecdotal, whimsical short stories about his hunting adventures, for which he has been called the "Munchausen of Courland". His outdoors interests also came to dominate his art completely, which is an unusual blend of skillfulness and professionalism mixed with naivety and slovenliness. Almost all his known paintings depict animals, hunting scenes or related subjects. His style is perhaps best characterised as a provincial form of Baroque, inspired to some extent by similar motives in Dutch Golden Age painting, executed in a highly personal way. Although he never became recognised as a major artist in Imperial Russia, he was still acknowledged by a special mention of the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1786. He is reputed to have painted over 1700 paintings, however only 43 surviving paintings are safely attributed to him today.
- Neumann, Wilhelm (1908). Lexikon Baltischer Künstler (in German). Riga: Jonck & Poliewsky. p. 7. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Lamberga, Dace (2004). "The Hunter with A Paintbrush". Studija Visual Arts Magazine. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Belēvičs, Guntis. "Johans Heinrihs Baumanis". Latvian Art Classics. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
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