The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Oeser, Adam Friedrich
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Oeser, Adam Friedrich
|Edition of 1920. See also Adam Friedrich Oeser on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
OESER, ė'zĕr, Adam Friedrich, German painter, etcher and sculptor: b. Pressburg, Saxony, 17 Feb. 1717; d. Leipzig, 18 March 1799. He was trained as a sculptor under Raphael Donner and as a painter, in the Vienna Academy, 1730-39. He afterward was a pupil of Mengs and Dietrich at Dresden where he designed the decorations of the court theatre and mural paintings in Castle Hubertsburg (1749). In 1759 he went to Leipzig where, in 1764, he was appointed director of the newly-founded art school. Besides his professional activity as a teacher he did a great deal of decorative work and won a reputation as a painter of ceilings. Among other things he executed a picture for the church of Saint Nicholas and a number of minor decorative panels and drawings. As a sculptor he shows to advantage in the statue of Frederick Augustus the Just in Leipzig and of the Danish Queen Matilda in Celle (Aisne-et-Nord). His versatility is proved by his masterly etchings, 45 in number, some after the manner of Rembrandt, some in a highly original style of his own. He was a strong opponent of mannerisms in art and he shared in Winckelmann's efforts after a reform in art through a study of the antique; but his own canvases give little evidence of Greek influence. By his passion for allegorical compositions he is sometimes betrayed into the extravagances of the rococo school. He was one of the great art teachers of his day and among his pupils was Goethe, with whom he kept in touch after the latter had become the leading spirit at Weimar. Among his numerous paintings, which are mainly of religious and mythological subjects and portraits, are ‘The Artist's Children’ (1766, in the Dresden Gallery); ‘Marriage at Cana’ (1777); ‘The Painter's Studio’ (Weimar Museum) and several in the Leipzig Museum. Consult Dürr, ‘Biography of Oeser’ (Leipzig 1879).