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Johan Frederik Clemens

1748 Gollnow – 1831 Copenhagen

Johan Frederik Clemens, who hailed from Germany, was one of the most successful engravers of his time. Having been trained by Johann Martin Preisler, he spent several years studying in Paris, Geneva, Berlin and London. In Paris, where Clemens stayed from 1773–1777, he was greatly influenced by the elegant French style and enjoyed the patronage of Johann Georg Wille. After returning to Copenhagen, Clemens was appointed court engraver in 1779. Another journey abroad in 1788 took him to Berlin, where he stayed for four years and became close friends with such famous artists as Johann Gottfried Schadow, Christian Bernhard Rode and Daniel Nicolaus Chodowiecki. In 1786 he was made a member in absentia of the Copenhagen Academy, later becoming a well respected and influential representative of this institution. From 1813 Clemens was a professor of engraving at the academy and through his teaching contributed to the spread of printmaking in Denmark.