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Friedrich Salathé

(1793 Binningen near Basel – 1858 Paris)

Trained as a painter by Peter Birmann in Basle, the young Salathé set off in the late summer of 1815 for Rome, where he was to live and work with brief interruptions until 1821. He soon developed close relations with the German and Swiss artists who resided in Rome. Salathé’s wide circle of friends included such reputable older artists as Joseph Anton Koch, Johann Martin von Rohden and Johann Christian Reinhart, who had come to Italy in the previous century, as well as colleagues of his own age, like Carl Barth, Samuel Amsler and Joseph Sutter. Through his association with Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, Salathé also maintained close ties with the Nazarenes and their circle.
Despite the great variety of artistic influences that Salathé found in Rome the artist soon went his own way. Like Friedrich Nerly, who was also a protégé of von Rumohr’s, his interest was almost exclusively devoted to landscapes, which was the reason why Salathé initially felt himself more drawn to such older landscape artists as Koch and Reinhart. Salathé explored the Mediterranean landscape during trips to southern Italy and hikes through the Roman Campagna, gradually gaining an increasing measure of artistic freedom. He developed a dynamic and powerful pen technique, which he skilfully combined with wash in order to capture the effect of light and atmosphere in a manner that was true to nature.