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Johann Gottfried Benedict Theil

1745 Friedrichstadt near Dresden – 1797 Dresden

Johann Gottfried Theil was initially taught by his father, Johann Benedikt, and trained at the academy in the latter’s native city of Bayreuth before studying under the court theatrical painter, Johann Benjamin Müller, in Dresden. In the 1770s he tried his hand for the first time at wall painting and etching. During his stay in Italy Theil made a close study of perspective and landscape painting. Several of his drawings he made while travelling Italy have survived and are now in the Kupferstichkabinett of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. After return­ing home, Theil first spent several years working as a painter at the Meißen porcelain manufactory before taking up an appointment as professor of theatrical perspective at the Dresden Academy of Art in 1782. He was also active as a theatrical and fresco painter and produced decorative paintings for the Japanese Palace, the Catholic Court Church and the Grand Opera House in Dresden.