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(bapt. Frankfurt, 18 Mar. 1578; bur. Rome, 11 Dec. 1610). German painter, etcher, and draughtsman, active mainly in Italy. Although he died young and his output was small, he played a key role in the development of 17th-century landscape painting. He was born in Frankfurt, where he absorbed the Coninxloo tradition, and moved to Italy in 1598. In Venice he worked with his countryman Rottenhammer, then in 1600 settled in Rome. There his early Mannerist style gave way to a more naturalistic mode in which he showed great sensitivity to effects of light; his nocturnal scenes are particularly original, bringing out the best in his lyrical temperament, and he is credited with being the first artist to represent the constellations of the night sky accurately (Flight into Egypt, 1609, Alte Pin.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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