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Felix Maria Diogg

1762 Andermatt – 1834 Rapperswil

Felix Maria Diogg is regarded as the outstanding principal representative of portrait painting during the period of classicism in Switzerland. Born and brought up in a family of peasants and craftsmen, Diogg’s talent as a draughtsman secured him a place at the Besançon Academy, having graduated from which he spent two years pursuing his studies in Rome (where he was in contact with the French Academy) and in Naples. Having returned to Switzerland, he launched his career as a portrait painter to the Swiss Council families and scholarly Enlightenment circles and extended his activities abroad, being commissioned to make a portrait of the Russian Tsarina in 1814. His corpus of paintings is estimated to be in excess of six hundred. Diogg painted and was on friendly terms with Johann Caspar Lavater and Hans Caspar Hirzel, the physician, politician and philanthropist portrayed here, whose biography of 1792 recorded the details of Diogg’s life.