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Joseph Fratrel

1730 Épinal - 1783 Mannheim

The painter and etcher, Joseph Fratrel, a native of Lorraine, originally trained as a lawyer but immediately launched into a career as an artist. He went to Paris in the early 1750s to study as a miniaturist under Pierre-Antoine Baudouin. Fratrel’s talent secured him an appointment as a miniaturist at the court of the former king of Poland, Stanislaus Leszczynski, in Nancy in 1754. After the latter’s death in 1766 the artist moved to Mannheim, where he worked as a miniaturist at the court of Elector Carl Theodor von der Pfalz (1724-1799) and later also as a history painter.