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Anton Weiss

(1801 - 1851)

Anton Weiss was a painter of portraits and religious subjects but it was as a painter of still lifes in the great Dutch tradition for which he was renowned and that his reputation endures. Weiss was born in Falkenau, a small town near Chemnitz in South East Germany but which was in 1801 in Bohemia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Weiss moved to The Netherlands in 1822, where he lived and studied in Amsterdam, however, he returned to his homeland in 1834 where he painted altar pieces for several churches in the region, at Falkenau, the town of his birth in addition to those in Weltwitz and Bürfgstein, in what was then Bohemia. He also painted portrait commissions which he executed in a Biedermeier style, the height of fashion in the 1830’s and 1840’s in central Europe, before returning to the Netherlands. It was as a painter of still lifes for which he was and remains best known. Weiss studied at the Royal Academy in Amsterdam under the Director, Jean Augustin Daiwaille, (1786-1850) a landscape painter, and lived and worked in Amsterdam 1822-1846. Weiss exhibited in Haarlem and Amsterdam in 1825, and in The Hague and Rotterdam 1822-1846. There was a strong body of still life painters in The Netherlands in the first half of the 19th Century continuing the tradition that had commenced in the 17th Century. Weiss would have been in competition for commissions with contemporaries Hendrik Reekers (1815-1854) and Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os (1782-1861). Weiss was clearly influenced by the works of Jan van Huysum (1682–1749) in whom still life painting of the Dutch Golden Age reached its zenith, he like Weiss painted floral bouquets in terracotta vases against a plain stone backdrop executed with an extraordinary level of detail and balance of colour. Anton Weiss died, at the early age of 49 in the town of Böhmisch Leipa, Bohemia, now Česká–Lípa in the Czech Republic, 31st January 1851. An example of his work can be seen in Blickling Hall Norfolk, National Trust