Elias Gottlob Haussmann

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Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach.jpg
Artist Elias Gottlob Haussman
Year 1746
Type Oil on canvas
Location Altes Rathaus, Leipzig

Elias Gottlob Haussmann (also Haußmann or Hausmann) (1695 – 11 April 1774) was a German painter in the late Baroque era. Haussmann served as court painter at Dresden, and from 1720 as the official portraitist at Leipzig. He is mostly known for his portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach which was painted in 1746.

Gottfried Reiche
Oil painting by Elias Gottlob Haussmann 1726
Oil painting by Elias Gottlob Haussmann c. 1750
Christian d. J. Weisius, Archdeaconn
Engraving of 1743
after Elias Gottlob Haussmann


Haussmann was born in Gera. He was at first a pupil of his father, Elias Haußmann (1663–1733), who was the Prince of Hesse's court painter. Haussmann was in the royal Hessian service, as he was mentioned in a September 1717 letter of recommendation from Prince Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt as "Our court painter's son".[1]

The Landgraf allowed him a study trip through Germany, where he met portraitist Francesco Carlo Rusca at Lugano.[2] Haussmann also met the Dresden court painter Adam Manyoki, who wrote favorably of him.[1]

From 1720 Haussmann was the official portrait painter of the city of Leipzig, but left the city in 1722, probably because of differences with the Malerinnung of Leipzig. Haussman and the Malerinnung disagreed in 1729 and 1742 "because he wanted 'despite polite Ermahnens neither citizens, nor with the guild agreements'".[1] These disputes are also accepted as a reason that Manyoki revoked his recommendation.[1]

In 1723, Haussmann was appointed court painter to the royal Polish and Saxon Elector. In 1725 he returned to Leipzig. In 1726 he took over the clientele of his predecessor, beginning with a portrait of J. H. Linke. In the 1760s, he and his school were replaced by Ernst Gottlob and Anton Graff.[1] Haussmann was also a long-time painter of the Protestant clergy.[1]


The City Historical Museum of Leipzig, where the Bach portrait hangs, also has several other oil paintings by Haussmann and a variety of his copperplate engravings. Most Haussmann paintings can easily be attributed — he regularly signed his works on the back with his name and the date.[1]

Haussmann's early portraits, like Emperor Gottfried, display individual composition, technical careful execution, a high level of detail, and realistic emotional expressions. Many later portraits on the other hand, possess typical characteristics of serial images. Especially in the years after 1760, they show the same degree, and often depicted the same attitude. Often there are identical clothes in the same colors within a series of portraits of rather insignificant officials.

Georg Müller writes of an "Images factory ".[1] On the other hand, copies were made to the detailed portraits with titles, career, and personal data added.[3]

Haussmann's oil paintings and the larger number copies [1] show a cross section of the leading layer of the bourgeoisie of Leipzig from the fields of politics, administration, judiciary, the church, business (especially trade and crafts), science and art. Examples include:[3]

  • Mayor Gottfried Wilhelm
  • Baumeister Kaspar Richter
  • Councilman and city judge Johann Jakob Mascov
  • Pastor Gottlieb Gauditz
  • Archdeacon Christian d. J. Weisius
  • Trader Johann Zacharias
  • Kramer champion Johann Heinrich left
  • Lawyer Christian Gottfried Moerlin
  • University professor August Friedrich Müller
  • Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Gottfried Reiche


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Georg Müller (from 1907 to 1947). "Elias Gottlob Haussmann". In Thieme and Karl Ulrich Becker. General lexicon of visual artists from antiquity to the present 16. Leipzig. pp. 145–146. 
  2. ^ Art of Bach, paintings and drawings from collections East Germany. Leipzig. 1985. 
  3. ^ a b Kassel; et al. (1979). Werner Neumann, ed. Image documents on the life history of Johann Sebastian Bach's. Supplement to Johann Sebastian Bach, New Edition all works IV. 


  • Gurlitt, Cornelius. Descriptive representation of the earlier works of art and monuments of the Kingdom of Saxony.  These include the official main team Leipzig City, 1894–1895
  • Sigismund, Ernst (1929). "The painter of portraits E. Bach G. Haussmann, a Gedenkblatt". Illustrated magazine for Culture, Science and Transportation (Leipzig). 
  • "The portrait painter Elias Gottlob Haussmann and his time: the Bach - portraits". Magazine for art 4 (2): 126–135. 1950. 
  • Thieme, Ulrich; Felix Becker (1907 to 1947). General lexicon of visual artists from antiquity to the present 1–36. Leipzig. 
  • Wustmann, Gustav (1907). Der Leipziger Kupferstich im 16., 17. und 18. Jahrhundert [Leipzig's engraving in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries]. J.B. Hirschfeld. OCLC 37772735. 

External links[edit]

  • Altes Rathaus - Museum in Leipzig housing many of Haussmann's paintings, including the famous Bach portrait.