George Emmanuel Opitz Born in Prague in 1775, died in Leipzig in 1841

Un Planteur dans les Indes Occidentales (A Planter in the West Indies) Initialed and dated (l.l.): P/12 Watercolor on paper 19" x 15" George Emmanuel Opitz was born in Prague in 1775. His father was a writer, publisher and a finance bureaucrat in the Bohemian government. Father Opitz carried on a correspondence with the infamous Casanova who was living out his days in Bohemia. Young Optiz attended a "gymnasium" in Prague and studied drawing with Franz Karl Wolf. Determined to continue his art education he moved to Dresden and enrolled at the Art Academy there. Around 1801Opitz lived in Vienna and began chronicling life there. In the 1720's Opitz was named Professor at the Leipzig Academy of Art. He lived there until his death in 1841. Opitz was the Thomas Rowlandson of the German speaking world. He used his art to satirize contemporary life. His genre drawings, watercolors and prints depicted life in Vienna around 1803, Paris in 1814, when the city was occupied by Russians during the Napoleonic Wars, and his rather racy, erotic satirical series of private life in Biedermeier Leipzig (very Casanovaesque) were executed towards the end of his life in the 1830's. During the first quarter of the 19th century, Europeans were fascinated with exotic places. Many of Opitz's paintings, drawings and watercolors feature Russian Cossacks, and Ottoman Turks. This watercolor of A Planter in the West Indies reflects this curiosity about far off places. It is a charming, if somewhat fantastic and romanticized depiction, of a white planter and his family and their slaves living a life of refinement in a lush, tropical West Indian paradise.

Dealer Jeffrey Tillou Antiques
Measurements 19" x 15"
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