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Ekhart Berckenhagen

(b Berlin, July 25, 1725; d Berlin, June 24, 1797).

German painter, draughtsman and etcher. He was the son of the goldsmith Christian Bernhard Rode (d 1755) and the pupil of N. Müller (fl 1740s) and Antoine Pesne. From 1750 to 1752 he studied with Carle Vanloo and Jean Restout in Paris, and between 1754 and 1756 he studied in Rome and in Venice, where he produced oil sketches after Titian, Tintoretto, Pordenone and Giordano. He was a fast and prolific worker with a talent for strong composition and use of colour. This last quality became especially evident after 1770, when he began to execute his works in bright, strong-toned colours. He painted several monumental wall and ceiling paintings, mainly in the castles and palaces of the aristocracy in the area of Berlin and Potsdam. In 1771–3 he produced a series of paintings (e.g. the Ploughman Cincinnatus Chosen to be Dictator) for the house of ...