Achen (or Ach), Johann Van

Achen (Or Ach), Johann Van, an eminent historical and portrait painter, was born at Cologne in 1552. He studied. six years with Jerrigh, a reputable portrait painter of Cologne. He next applied himself to study the works of Bartholomew Spranger. When twenty-two years old he went to Italy, and first stopped at Venice, where he stayed long enough to get a thorough knowledge of the great works of art in that famous school. He then went to Rome, where his first performance was an altar-piece of the Nativity, for one of the chapels of the Jesuits. Here he introduced other fine portraits. From Rome he went to Florence, where he painted the portrait of the famous poetess. Madonna Laura. He was invited. by the elector of Bavaria to Munich, where he executed his most excellent work, The Resurrection, also The Finding of the True Cross. He painted the portraits of the electoral family with so much satisfaction that his employer presented him with a gold chain and medal, in token of his esteem. By the invitation of the emperor Rodolph, he went to Prague, where he executed several compositions, particularly a picture of Venus and Adonis, designed with a taste then unknown in Germany. He captivated Germany by the introduction of a new style, compounded of the principles of the Venetian and Florentine schools. He was one of the first German artists who attempted to reform the stiff and Gothic taste of his country. He died at Prague in 1615.

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