loading page

Loading the page ...

Johann Gottlieb Prestel

1739 Grönenbach – 1808 Frankfurt am Main

The painter and etcher Johann Gottlieb Prestel spent years as an apprentice in Venice, Rome and Florence and stayed for longish periods in Augsburg, Nuremberg and Zurich – where he painted a portrait of Goethe in 1775 – before finally settling down in Frankfurt on Main in 1783. Although Prestel was considered to be an eccentric loner, the restless artist succeeded in finding a permanent post in Frankfurt. He abandoned paint­ing in order to devote himself entirely to printmaking, a field in which he achieved such mastery that his contemporaries spoke of the “Prestel manner”. It was in his application of the aquatint technique introduced shortly beforehand by Jean Baptiste Le Prince that Prestel soon attained a remarkable virtuosity. Prestel often executed reproductive engravings after works which were to be found in the private galleries of Frankfurt’s nobility, such as the Praunsche Kabinett or the famous Städel Collection.