Study of a male Nude
  • Johann Daniel Preissler, attr.
  • Nuremberg 1666 - 1737
  • Study of a male Nude, circa 1700
  • Red chalk, on laid paper,
  • old inscription on the verso: RM
  • 380 × 543 mm

Johann Daniel Preissler belonged to a large dynasty of painters and engravers based in Nuremberg, but whose roots stretched back to Bohemia. After training in the local painters’ guild, the young Preissler left in 1688 as a journeyman for Venice and Rome, where he continued his study of the Old Masters. He only returned to his native city in 1696, becoming a few years later director of the academy there. After he also took over the directorship of the affiliated drawing school in 1716, Preissler published several theoretical guides and model-books for students of draughtsmanship.

The drawings he left behind cannot always be distinguished from those of the most talented of his many children, for Johann Justin Preissler (1698-1771) succeeded his father not only in his offices, but also in his style of drawing. Largeformat sheets of studies and life drawings after the nude, mostly in red chalk, are found in the oeuvres of both artists. But perhaps the pronounced nuances of the musculature and the more refined observation of light in the sheet shown here reveal it to be a work of the father.