KOCH, Joseph Anton
(b. 1768, Obergibeln, d. 1839, Roma)

Monastery of San Francesco di Civitella in the Sabine Mountains

Oil on panel, 34 x 46 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

A native of Tyrol, Koch joined the Jacobins in revolutionary Strasbourg and conducted nature studies in the Swiss Alps before going to Rome, where he took classical art and literature as his guidelines. Gradually his approach developed from the pure landscape depictions of his Swiss watercolours to landscapes whose accessories and figures charged them with historical meaning. In art, as Koch put it, "history and nature... can be depicted... separately as little as God separated them in the history (of mankind)."

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