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Johann Karl Loth

Johann Karl Loth

*  1632 München
† 1698 Venedig

The painter Johann Karl Loth was born in Munich in 1632. His first training was under his father, Johann Ulrich Loth, painter to the Bavarian court. Around 1650 Johann Karl Loth went to Rome to continue his studies, soon settling permanently in Venice. There he came into contact with the leading artists of the day, including Ruschi, Langetti and Zanchi, whose predilection for light-and-shade painting led to their being called the "Temebrosi". Also known under the pseudonym "Carlotto", Johann Karl Loth is regarded as a typical "virtuoso" Baroque painter. The predominant motifs in Loth's paintings are drawn thematically from the Old Testament as well as Greco-Roman mythology and history. Numerous Loth altarpieces for churches in Venice, the Terraferma and from his native Bavaria have survived. In 1677 Johann Karl Loth painted the "Death of St Andrea Avellino" for the Theatinerkirche in Munich. Loth's altar pieces are distinguished by monumental compositions supported by a sharply accentuating palette. Johann Karl Loth earned the reputation of being one of the best altarpiece painters in his adopted Venice. As far as Loth's easel paintings in much smaller formats are concerned, his stylistic development there led from powerful works revealing the influence of Strozzi to a more elegant handling, with the originally pastose application of paint yielding to smoother brushwork. A warm, almost smoldering palette yielded to a lighter and cooler one. Johann Karl Loth stands alongside such titans as Adam Elsheimer, Johann Liss and Johann Heinrich Schönfeld as one of the most important 17th-century German painters. Not only did he exert a wide-ranging influence on 17th-century Venetian painting; through his pupils from Bavaria, Austria and Bohemia, Johann Karl Loth also shaped south German painting. Johann Karl Loth died in Venice in 1698.