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Rabbiner mit Stundenglas. [Rabbi with hour glass] Nathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise].
1804 - Oil on canvas (55 x 37 cm), framed (65 x 47 cm). An impressive portrait depicting Nathan the Wise from the play 'Nathan der Weise' holding an hourglass. Anton Wilhelm Tischbein (1730 - 1804) was a German painter from the artists' family Tischbein. To distinguish him from the other Tischbeins, he was also called Hanauer Tischbein (since he spent half his life in Hanau). His four older brothers were also painters, including Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder, who actually was his first teacher. In 1753, he enrolled at the academy in The Hague. In 1769 he moved to Hanau as court painter for Prince William, and from 1772 began working at the Art Academy as a teacher. He painted not only the family members of his royal masters, but also worked for wealthy patricians from the imperial city of Frankfurt, such as Johann Christian Senckenberg or for the Brentano and La Roche families. He also created history paintings of mythological contents, mostly small-scale pieces and decorated several significant buildings, including the Palace Wilhelmsbad near Hanau. Painting portraits remains however his major work. (Thieme-Becker Kunstler Lexikon XXXIII) Nathan the Wise is a character from the play Nathan der Weise, a fervent plea for religious tolerance published by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in 1779. Its performance was forbidden by the church during Lessing's lifetime; it was first performed in 1783 in Berlin. In 1922 it was adapted into a silent film of the same title. Set in Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, it describes how the wise Jewish merchant Nathan, the enlightened Sultan Saladin, and the (initially anonymous) Templar bridge their gaps between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Its major themes are friendship, tolerance, relativism of God, a rejection of miracles and a need for communication. The character of Nathan is to a large part modelled after Lessing's friend, Moses Mendelssohn, the eminent philosopher. Nathan is here represented with a kippah and a hourglass.
      [Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-12-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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