Topffer Oil Paintings Reproductions and Biography
Adam Wolfgang Topffer, Geneva painter, caricaturist, and engraver, born on 20 May 1766. He was trained as an engraver in Lausanne and while there illustrated Horace-Benedict de Saussure?s Voyage dans les Alpes (1779) in 1786. He studied under Joseph-Benoit Suvee in Paris (1789?1791) and was influenced by Jean-Louis Demarne. On Topffer's return to Geneva he went on painting expeditions with Pierre-Louis De La Rive; these studies of the environs of the city inspired his best work. In 1796 he exhibited caricatures at the Salon in Geneva and from 1804 to 1807 was in Paris, where he was Drawing Master to Josephine Bonaparte. From 1810 he concentrated on painting such scenes from local village life as Open-air Sermon (1810). His anecdotal, animated landscapes were very popular not only in Switzerland but also in France, where he exhibited at the Salons of 1804 and 1812 in Paris. He won a gold medal at the latter Salon for the contemporary history painting Re-establishment of Religion in France after the Revolution (1811), a subject he had first treated at least twice in 1803. In 1816 he visited England, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Under the influence of English painting his work became more colorful, vigorous and economical. He also admired Hogarth?s work and emulated his style in his own political caricatures (e.g. La Planche appartient a M. Frederic Raisin, 1817). On his return to Geneva in 1816 he began to produce such sparse, sober and balanced paintings as Vue du Mont Blanc. After a visit to Italy in 1824, he was inspired to do quick sketches of city life on the streets of Geneva. He was the most comprehensive recorder of the city and its surroundings of any 19th-century Genevese artist.