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The Rugendas Letters:
Johann Moritz Rugendas’
First Voyage to Brazil
Weirotter, Franz Edmund (Innsbruck 1730 – Vienna 1771). At Civita Vecchia. The naval and marine port with rich ship and boat scenery, with and without made sails. In front left full sacks are carried over a landing-stage from a magazine to a boat. Further port installations on the far shore at the feet of the Monti di Tolfa. Etching. Inscribed in German: 3 / (drawn by F. E. Weirotter in the ship at Civita Vecchia in the Contumaz) and by old Hand “Civita Vecchia”. 15 x 22 cm.
Nagler 7, 3. – INSTRUCTIVE SHEET . – “(The harbour contains considerable shipyards, an arsenal built by Bernini, 1598-1680, and magazines)” (Meyer’s Convers.-Lex., 4th ed., IV, 151).
With Weirotter the landscape etching experienced a fine culmination and in 1766 Schmutzer, then director of the Vienna Academy, recommended Maria Theresa the appointment to the academy of the still young artist to take over the landscape subject there. According to Schmutzer’s report for the empress the artist in his mid-thirties made
“ with his etched landscapes
which were bought readily in England , the Netherlands , and Germany
4-5000 fl. annually ”.
The suggestion was accepted immediately by the Privy Council, because Weirotter otherwise “already has a call to Saxony in hands”. But at his much too early death “his complete artistic bequest found no market in Vienna; it left to Paris. Connoisseurs and friends of his sheets
had to pay dearly for impressions of individual sheets …
As etcher Weirotter ranks with the most eminent artists … ”
(ADB XLI , 520 f.),
having “developed a truly astonishing activity on both the fields assigned to him (in Vienna), the landscape drawing and the etching,
and given impetuses influencing still today ”
(Thieme-Becker XXXV , 309, quoting Carl von Lützow).
His whole ability is reflected by the works after own invention as here. His admiration with the contemporaries follows from letters by and to Wille as the German Pope of Art residing in Paris. So Winckelmann on occasion of Weirotter’s stay in Rome “Mister Weirotter has made me … a present of own works,
which I reckon among the best of the kind
… This young artist will be a credit to his native country”. And in glance backward at the preceded Paris period of training with Wille (1759/63) this to Hagedorn in Dresden “He has become so ready in drawing that his drawings look far more effortless than his paintings”. And as collector the Leipsic banker Gottfried Winckler “I have no doubt, that Mr.
Weirotter will deliver to us much beautiful after the Italian journey ”.
Quoted after Decultot et al. as editors, Wille Correspondence, Tübingen 1999, pp. 314, 316, 318, each from 1764.
Offer no. 28,523 / EUR 187. (c. US$ 241.) + shipping