From Right an Aqueduct

directs the Water Pipe to the House

Weirotter, Franz Edmund (Innsbruck 1733 – Vienna 1771). Old property near Tivoli (Rome). In the foreground women laundering and hanging up the washing. From right an aqueduct directs the water pipe to the house. Etching. After 1764. Inscribed: F. E. Weirotter fecit / - 3 -. 7 × 9½ in (17.9 × 24.2 cm).

Franz Edmund Weirotter, Property near Tivoli

Nagler 4/III. – Inscribed by old hand in ink “Tivoli“. – From the 12-sheet “First Suite of Regions and Fragments of Old Buildings” with Views of Ruins in and around Rome, Tivoli, the Villa Adriana, of Florence, Livorno (Leghorn), and Riccia, dedicated to the court and state chancellor Wenceslas Anton Prince of Kaunitz (1711-1794, ennobled 1764), count of Rittberg, protector of the imperial & royal Drawing and Engraving Academy at Vienna and collector.

The representation of one of those legendary aqueducts

as most grandiose creations of ancient architecture .

“ (For) far more developed we find the aqueducts with the Romans where they seldom were run underground, but mostly on arched buttresses, and belonged to the most grandiose creations of ancient architecture. The pipes were made of wood, lead, even leather, but mostly of stony canals. Normally the

pipes leading into the individual houses ( as here )

… were of lead ”

(Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., I, 107).

With Weirotter the landscape etching experienced a fine culmination and in 1766 Schmutzer, then director of the Vienna Academy, recommended Maria Theresa the appointment to the academy of the still young artist to take over the landscape subject there. According to Schmutzer’s report for the empress the artist in his mid-thirties made

“ with his etched landscapes

which were bought readily in England , the Netherlands , and Germany

4-5000 . annually ”.

The suggestion was accepted immediately by the Privy Council, because Weirotter otherwise “already has a call to Saxony in hands”. But at his much too early death “his complete artistic bequest found no market in Vienna; it left to Paris. Connoisseurs and friends of his sheets

had to pay dearly for impressions of individual sheets …

As etcher Weirotter ranks with the most eminent artists … ”

(ADB XLI [1896], 520 f.),

having “developed a truly astonishing activity on both the fields assigned to him (in Vienna), the landscape drawing and the etching,

and given impetuses influencing still today ”

(Thieme-Becker XXXV [1942], 309, quoting Carl von Lützow).

His whole ability is reflected by the works after own invention as here. His admiration with the contemporaries follows from letters by and to Wille as the German Pope of Art residing in Paris. So Winckelmann on occasion of Weirotter’s stay in Rome “Mister Weirotter has made me … a present of own works,

which I reckon among the best of the kind

… This young artist will be a credit to his native country”. And in glance backward at the preceded Paris period of training with Wille (1759/63) this to Hagedorn in Dresden “He has become so ready in drawing that his drawings look far more effortless than his paintings”. And as collector the Leipsic banker Gottfried Winckler “I have no doubt, that Mr.

Weirotter will deliver to us much beautiful after the Italian journey ”.

Quoted after Décultot et al. as editors, Wille Correspondence, Tübingen 1999, pp. 314, 316, 318, each from 1764.

“ Weirotter – so Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländischen Malerei des 17. Jhdts., 2nd ed., 1983, p. 338 – worked also after P. Molijn, Jan van Goyen, Aert van der Neer – and Dietricy.

His own inventions are correspondingly Dutch . ”

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