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 Johann Jakob Frey  (1813 - 1865)

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Lived/Active: Switzerland      Known for: painting

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
Cattle herdsmen at a river before a broad landscape.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Christie's London, King Street:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Basel in 1813, Johann Frey worked in Paris and Munich before settling in Rome in 1835.  Frey began his career as a traditional landscape artist, painting around the Roman campagna and Naples in a gently Romantic style common to many of his northern European contemporaries.   However, a trip to Tunisia in 1840, and to Egypt in 1842, where he spent nearly a whole year accompanying an expedition by the Prussian archaeologist Richard Lepsius, evinced from the artist a far more original response.  He produced during both trips a large number of drawings, which resulted in paintings ranging from highly Romantic canvases, which emphasized the emptiness and dangers of the desert, to more topographical paintings, rendered in a naturalist vein, and showed a particular sensitivity to light.  Although Frey did not return to North Africa, his two trips produced enough visual source material to inform a significant body of work in this genre for the rest of his life.

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