Nieznana panorama Torunia z 1793 roku i jej autor – Ernst Friedrich Kussmahly
An unknown panorama of Toruń from 1793 and its author – Ernst Friedrich Kussmahly
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The title page of the volume containing the minutes of the Toruń merchants’ guild, created when the city fell under Prussian rule in 1793, displays a hitherto unpublished drawing depicting an architectural portal with the cityscape of Toruń. Its author, Ernst Friedrich Kussmahly (1762–1805), a member of the local guild of painters, came from a family with some tradition in this profession: his grandfather, uncle and elder brother were all painters, as well as his nephew who, for a period, was taught in Ernst Friedrich’s workshop. The illustration on the merchants’ manuscript is the only known work by Kussmahly, with the exception of another drawing which qualified him as a journeyman. The layout of the panorama on the frontispiece was modelled on a print made by Georg Paul Busch, an engraver from Berlin, which was included in the second edition of Thornische Chronica by Jacob Heinrich Zernecke, published in 1727. It follows a long tradition of portraying Toruń from the south, across the banks of the river Vistula, that dates back to the beginning of the sixteenth century. The most renowned example of this type of work is an engraving from 1684 executed by Christian Daniel Pietesch, while the best in terms of artistic value are two copper engravings, both based on drawings by Friedrich Bernhard Werner printed in Augsburg by the heirs of Jeremias Wolff (aft er 1729) and Johann Christian Leopold (around 1735).
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