Annunciation to the Shepherds
  • Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich (called Dietricy)
  • Weimar 1734 - 1802 Dresden
  • Annunciation to the Shepherds, ca. 1760
  • Pen and brush in ink, on wove paper,
  • verso inscribed with ink in an old hand: Dietrici,
    with pencil: C. W. E. Dietrich
  • 374 × 280 mm
Collection Geheimrat E. Ehlers,
Sale C. G. Boerner, Leipzig,
November 27, 1935, lot 329,
Consul Carl Heumann, Chemnitz
(Lugt suppl. 2841a)

Dietrich appears to have given himself the artistic name of Dietricy in the 1730’s, on his way to a brilliant career as a multi-talented painter. He is considered a prime example of the fashionable eclecticism of his age and was capable of duplicating the schools of European painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with such incredible stylistic range that contemporary experts often had difficulty distinguishing his paintings from older originals.

Augustus the Strong named him painter to the Saxon court in 1743, sent him at the expense of the state to study in Italy from 1743 to 1744, and placed him in 1748 at the side of Count Brühl as inspector of the royal collection of paintings. Finally, in 1764 Dietricy rose to became one of the first professors at Dresden’s academy and the director of the school for porcelain painting in Meissen.

Collectors in all of Europe treasured his works in the eighteenth century, and Dietricy created with great diligence a correspondingly large body of work. On the other hand, his engravings and especially his drawings are much more rare. Among them, both in terms of quality and of quantity, biblical themes occupy an important place.