REINHART, Johann Christian
(b. 1761, Hof, d. 1847, Roma)

Biography

German painter and etcher. He was a son of Deacon Peter Johann Reinhart, who came from an old family of craftsmen, died quite early in 1764, so that Johann Christian and his brother Amandus were brought up by their mother.

Johann Christian Reinhart attended Hof's grammar school where one of his teachers recognized the boy's talent for drawing and encouraged him in this. Like his father, Johann Christian started to study theology because life as an artist seemed too insecure. However he turned more and more to art and started to study under Adam Friedrich Oeser, the Director of the Art Academy in Leipzig.

In 1783 he moved to Dresden to further his studies. He concentrated on landscape painting which was to form the main body of his work as an artist. In 1784 he returned to Leipzig, where he got to know Friedrich Schiller in 1785. This friendship lasted all his life. From 1786 he spent three years in Meiningen (Thuringia) at the court of Duke Georg of Meinigen, one of the centres of classicism next to Jena and Weimar.

Supported by the hereditary Prince of Coburg-Gotha, he got a grant from the Margrave of Ansbach-Bayreuth which enabled him to go to Italy. In December 1789 he reached Rome, a gathering place for artists at the time. From there, he travelled all over Italy.

In 1801 he married an Italian, Anna Caffo and together they had three children. Paintings, drawings and etchings, of which he made many prints, brought him artistic recognition and financial success. In 1839 he was appointed official court painter in Bavaria.