Johann Philipp Veith (German, 1768-1837)
Crocker Art Museum, E. B. Crocker Collection
A student of Adrian Zingg at the Dresden Kunstakademie, Johann Philipp Veith was a native of the city. Little is known of his early training except that he became a decorative painter even before his entry into the Kunstakademie. Veith benefited greatly from Zingg’s curriculum of landscape drawing both in the studio and on trips into the countryside south of Dresden. By the age of twenty-two, the artist had achieved the status of master, and he supplied designs for printmakers, focusing on landscape. He was commissioned by the Meissen porcelain manufactory in 1798 to provide designs for their works, a prestigious appointment made through the Dresden Art Academy. Four years later Veith’s skills in landscape drawing were also recognized when he received the Academy’s travel grant for Italy. He returned there in 1813 or 1814. A member of the Academy from 1817, he became professor of landscape drawing there in 1833, four years before his death.
An inscription on this drawing identifies the view as the Cascatelle at Tivoli. The double falls, bifurcated at the lower cliff, do resemble the flow of the river Aniene as it plunges into a gorge below the Italian town. However, Veith’s view is most likely imaginary since the villa of Maecenas above the falls is missing and is replaced by several rows of trees and smaller Italian houses. If, as has been proposed, the drawing is a view in the Elbe district south of Dresden, Veith has adapted it to the Italian mode.