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Jakob Matthias Schmutzer

(1733–1811, Vienna)

Jakob Matthias Schmutzer was an indefatigable draughtsman who honed his skills through strict discipline and daily practice. Consequently, a large number of the head and figure studies he produced over a period of forty years from the 1760s to 1805 have survived. Most of these sheets are executed in red chalk, a drawing medium especially popular in France. Schmutzer learned this technique and the associated drawing method with its broad, vigorous hatching from his teacher, Johann Georg Wille, in Paris. Schmutzer spent four years there from 1762 to 1766, a stay that was to prove crucial for his development as an artist. Having returned to Vienna in 1766, Schmutzer was appointed director of the newly founded engraving academy the same year and court engraver the year after.