HAID, Johann Jacob (1704-1767) after C. N. EBERLEIN
Augsburg: Published by Johann Jakob Haid, circa 1730. Mezzotint. Printed on laid paper. In good condition with the exception of some foxing across the margins. Small paper loss in upper left corner of sheet. Image size: 12 1/2 x 7 5/8 inches. Sheet size: 15 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches. Plate mark: 12 1/2 x 7 5/8 inches.
A striking scientific portrait of Albrecht von Haller, from Johann Jakob Haid's celebrated series of mezzotint portraits.
Johan Jakob Haid came from a German family of artists and printmakers. Haid worked initially with the animal painter Johann Elias Ridinger, but he soon went on to found a well-known publishing house in Augsburg. He became known primarily for his celebrated series of large mezzotint portraits of illustrious individuals. This attractive portrait of Albertus Haller is a wonderful example of Haid's noted series. As in this fine image, all of Haid's portraits are highly decorative; the sitter is always surrounded by a decorative frame and the image rests on an ornate descriptive plaque. This is a lovely impression and a fine example of Haid's accomplished series. As in many scientific portraits, Haller is shown holding a book, symbolizing his important work as a writer.
Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777) was a celebrated Swiss anatomist and physiologist. After pursuing an education in medicine and mathematics, Haller devoted himself to the study of botany. He began a collection of plants, which formed the basis of his great work on the flora of Switzerland. In 1729 he returned to Bern and began to practice as a physician, and was soon appointed the chair of medicine, at the University of Gottingen.
Commonly called "the Great", Haller was an illustrious scholar and prolific writer. His academic interests included poetry, botany, biography and medicine, and he produced a huge quantity of texts devoted to these diverse subjects. He is best remembered for his twenty volumes of biographies on anatomy, botany, surgery, and medicine, and for his revolutionary contributions to the field of physiology. He proved the concept of tissue "irritability", and distinguished between nerve impulse and muscular contraction.
Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs.