Lines and Colors art blog

Johann Wilhelm Preyer

Johann Wilhelm Preyer, 19th century still life
Johann Wilhelm Preyer was a 19th century German painter who specialized in still life of fruit and glassware, often in simple arrangements that allowed him to focus great attention on individual objects.

Preyer had a richly visceral approach. In good reproductions, you can get a sense of the immediacy and palpable textural quality of his subjects.

I particularly like his straightforward studies of leaves and small groupings of fruits, meant for his own study rather than as finished works. In some of the image sources, you will find drawings, occasionally of landscape, but usually of his favorite subjects.

Preyer studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and with Wilhelm von Schadow, but unlike most of his teachers, and the other members of the Düsseldorf school of painting — of which he was an early participant — he chose still life rather than figurative work.

Johann Wilhelm Preyer’s brother, Gustav was also a painter, as were his children Paul and Emilie. Paul chose figurative art, but Emilie Preyer took on her father’s subject matter and teaching, and to my mind, took them to an even higher level. (See my post on Emilie Preyer.)


2 responses to “Johann Wilhelm Preyer”

  1. Oh wow, the detail on the cup and the grapes is first-class. I pray nightly for the modern elite arts to return to that of the Johann’s, Da Vinici, Monet, the Hudson Valley landscape artists etc. and away from post-modernism. I’ve never heard of this fellow but he has impeccable attention to detail!

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the posts, John. There are some contemporary painters working in the Baroque still life manner who are doing very nice work. See my post on Henk Helmantel: