LOTH, Johann Karl
(b. 1632, München, d. 1698, Venezia)


After receiving instruction from his mother, and father Johann Ulrich, who himself had been inspired by Caravaggio and Saraceni in Rome, Loth went to Italy in 1653, stopping first in Rome. There he studied the works of Caravaggio and his successors, and proceeded to Venice where in 1663 he was given the title the "gran miniatore" by his fellow artists. His lively manner of depiction was to set an example for southern German Baroque painting, introduced by his pupils Rottmayr, Strudel and Daniel Seiter (1649-1705). This style already marked his work in the churches of Venice and the Terra Ferma.

Loth's contact with the Venetian Tenebrosi (so-called because of their contrasting use light and shade and sombre coloration) is apparent in his Death of St Andrew Avellino (Theatinerkirche, Munich, 1677). This work also shows his own, closely human approach to the subject. For his mythological and religious scenes he favoured large-figured compositions, defined and dominated by the figures in the foreground. Late works, such as St Joseph and the Child Jesus, God in his Glory, and Mary (San Silvestro, Venice, 1681), show his great talent in fusing earthly and heavenly elements to achieve a realistic whole.

Loth, who was greatly esteemed in his life-time, is now largely forgotten.