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Painting and Graphic Art

Portrait of the architect Jacob Meyer

Key data

dated 1654

Joseph Werner the Younger, Basle Oil on copper

30 x 24.5 cm

Inv. 1990.341.


With this small portrait of his Basle teacher Jacob Meyer the 17 year old Berne painter Joseph Werner (1637-1710) gave early evidence of the talents that were to make him the first director of the Berlin Akademie der Künste und mechanischen Wissenschaften (academy of fine arts and mechanical sciences). The sitter taught mathematics and surveying from 1641 to 1659 at the Schule zu Barfüssem in Basle, and made a name for himself as a surveyor, cartographer, engraver and writer of textbooks. He left behind numerous plans and maps of the city of Basle and its surroundings, some also illustrated with elevated views of the town. In 1668 he was appointed to the important office of municipal paymaster, who supervised building. The plan in his right hand alludes to his involvement in the largest building project of the city since the Middle Ages, the enlargement, repair and maintenance of the fortifications in 1622-28.

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