Joachim von Sandrart

Dates1606 - 1688
BornFrankfurt am Main, Germany
DiedNuremberg, Germany

Although a very famous painter in his lifetime, Joachim von Sandrart is now mostly admired for his writings. Initially, he wanted to be an engraver. He apprenticed in Nuremberg and Prague, where he was advised to paint instead. He then studied in Utrecht with Gerrit van Honthorst, whom he accompanied to London in 1627. Sandrart spent the next seven years in Venice, Bologna, and Rome. After returning to Frankfurt am Main, Sandrart moved to Amsterdam in 1637 to escape the Thirty Years War. There he painted portraits influenced by Anthony van Dyck's shimmering pieces. Sandrart returned to Bavaria, where altar painting dominated his output; he often based his pictures on Peter Paul Rubens's monumental, passionate examples. Ennobled in 1653, he moved to Augsburg in 1670 and founded a private academy there. Settling in Nuremberg a few years later, he became director of its new academy. From 1675 to 1679, Sandrart poured the vast knowledge he had gained from traveling into his book Teutsche Akademie, still the key source for German painters of the 1600s and Roman artistic life around 1630. The two volumes include an introduction to architecture, painting, and sculpture; artists' biographies; and information on collections and iconography.