Stieler Paintings & Biography
Joseph Stieler, who originally came from Mainz, was well known for his sensitive portraits. His portrait style was most especially shaped during his work in the Parisian atelier of Francois Gerard, a student of David. After a long stay in Italy he worked mainly in the service of the Bavarian court. His painted likenesses in Schloss Nymphenburg - the so-called "Schonheitengalerie" or gallery of beauties - were commissioned by King Ludwig I and are his most famous works. The most distinguishing feature of Stieler's portraits is his utter focus on the sitter. Decorative additions are left out, and there is nothing that distracts the viewer's scrutiny. Stieler accomplished this concentration through deliberate light-dark contrast, which above all highlights the accurately characterized facial features.