German painter. He
travelled to England, the Netherlands, France and Italy, working for
longer periods in Rome, Naples and Augsburg. He was strongly
influenced by French landscape painters active in Italy, such as
Gaspard Dughet and Claude Lorrain. In Agricola’s paintings the
balanced arrangement of the picturesque landscape elements creates a
lucid pictorial structure, and unusual light effects, such as
twilight or the darkness before a storm, are used to convey a
particular mood. The small scale of his figures expresses the
contrast between human frailty and the forces of nature. He painted
with lively local colours, especially ochres and deep greens for the
rich tones of earth and vegetation. The multicoloured costumes of
his figural staffage provide pictorial accents and reveal the
romantic orientation of his paintings. Scenes of country people at
work, for example Landscape with a Millstone (Dresden, Gemäldegal.
Alte Meister), express his yearning for a return to nature.
Paintings representing the life of nomadic Orientals, such as
Evening Landscape with Praying Turks (Brunswick, Herzog Anton
Ulrich-Mus.), show an increasing interest in exotic motifs that may
have been a consequence of the Turkish invasions of Central Europe.
Agricola’s concept of landscape is an early expression of Baroque
Romanticism in German painting. His pupils and followers included
Christian Hilfgott Brand, Fabio Ceruti (d 1761) and Johann Alexander
SCENE DE MARCHE
A river landscape with figures constructing an aqueduct beside
waterfalls, oriental figures and camels nearby
Landscape with figures
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