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Georg Friedrich Schmidt

(1712 Schönerlinde near Berlin - 1775 Berlin)

The Artist’s Wife (Bust). Etching. 10 x 8.1 cm. (1753). Wessely 104 II.

Georg Friedrich Schmidt ranks along with Daniel Chodowiecki and Johann Wilhelm Meil as one of the foremost Rococo printmakers at the time of Frederick the Great. Schmidt was also a talented portraitist who was much in demand. He made a total of three etchings of his wife, Dorothee Luise. The present, very personal and informal half-length portrait shows her in profile and, like the second portrait of her sewing, it was made in Berlin in 1753. At that time Schmidt was court engraver to Frederick the Great. The third portrait, which shows Dorothee reading, was made in 1761 in St. Petersburg. J. E. Wessely, the author of the catalogue of his prints, says in retrospect: “The marriage was a very happy one. His wife was homely, warm-hearted and receptive to higher intellectual pleasures. These qualities can certainly be seen in her face …”. A very fine, vibrant impression with margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in excellent condition.

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