(b. 1768, Bad Vöslau, d. 1846, Mainz)

Landscape with Gessner's Tomb

c. 1788
Oil on canvas, 72 x 58 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

Salomon Gessner (1730-1788) was a Swiss poet, whose "Idylls" came out in 1756, with a French edition appearing 1762. This pastoral poetry enjoyed sensational international success. Gessner described tombs set on charming, gentle landscapes. The subject matter of Schönberger's painting, a prize-winning piece in 1789, was the commemoration of the celebrated "painting poet" and idyllist who captured his scenes in both word and image. This painting is a blend of a Gessner idyll with a Rococo-style landscape which still looks to the French artist Jean Pillement as its spiritual father.