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Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Painting and Graphic Art


Key data

dated 1716

Johann Rudolf Loutherburg, Basle

Oil on panel

60.5 x 43.8 cm



Among the many quodlibefs (as you like it) or trompe l'oeils widespread in the C17 and C18 is the 'letter board', a wooden surface fictively painted with stretched tapes to hold letters and newsletters. This example by a Basle painter shows a wall calendar in a black, ornately curved wooden frame with the current date, 15 May 1716. On the calendar page for the merry month can be seen a couple strolling in a Baroque garden. Attached to the board along with three letters and two newsletters is a calendar diary of a kind widely used in Basle at the time and sometimes called a 'Rosius calendar' after its publisher, Jakob Rosius (1598-1676). The painter has signed the 12 May copy of the "Post- and Ordinari Nachrichten" with the words "Johann Rudolph Luterburg Basiliensis pinxit". Born in Basle in 1652 and dying there in 1727, he was the first of three generations of painters in this family, and worked primarily as a portrait painter.

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