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Johann Christoph Rist

(1790 Stuttgart – 1876 Augsburg)

A Wooded Landscape with a Water Mill. Etching on soft wove paper. 12.4 x 18 cm. (1817).

The painter and etcher, Christoph Rist, studied at the Academy in Vienna, where he received an academic award in 1816. In pursuit of his studies the artist lived and worked in Rome in 1823/24. After returning to Germany he worked alternately in Augsburg and Munich, distinguishing himself as a landscape painter. The Kunstblatt drew attention to his talent at an early stage. Primarily a very talented draughtsman, Rist also made a few etchings which are exceedingly rare. Nagler mentions a series of four landscapes “with bridges, mills and hunters”. The present etching may well stem from this series. The small print with its technical refinement and subtle conveying of atmosphere offers convincing proof of Rist’s graphical talent. The subtlety of the etching technique is reminiscent of the works of his predecessor, Christoph Nathe (1753–1806), with whose works he was probably familiar. There are two versions of the etchings: a wonderfully inky and contrasting trial proof before all letters and before the completion of the sky, and a qualitatively comparable impression of the final state bearing the following inscription at the bottom: “First attempt at etching by J. Rist”. In perfect condition.

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