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Il Tedesco (Adam Elsheimer) [German, 1578-1610] 






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Il Tedesco (Adam Elsheimer) [German, 1578-1610]

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  Il Tedesco (Adam Elsheimer) [German, 1578-1610]

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Title:  St. Christopher
Artist:  Elsheimer, Adam (Il Tedesco) [German, 1578-1610]
Year:  circa 1598/99
Material:  Oil on copperplate
Dimensions:  22.5x17.5 cm
Where:  The Hermitage - St. Petersburg
Notes:  This small-format picture shows the Christian legend of the pagan of gigantic stature who was converted after he carried the infant Christ across a ford. Elsheimer, who spent most of his creative life in Italy, made light the most important visual element in the picture, both that real light which flows from the moon, and the mystical light which comes from the infant Christ. Small nuances of lighting, through which man and nature seem to blend into a unified whole, give this night scene a sense of mystery and animation. The sculptural working up of the figures recalls somewhat the style of Tintoretto, but the composition was undoubtedly the idea of Elsheimer himself. Rubens copied the head of the Christ Child, and Elsheimer's influence reached a number of major artists from other schools, among them Rembrandt, Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Domenico Fetti and Pieter Lastman.

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