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Grund, Norbertlocked

(b Prague, bapt Dec 4, 1717; d Prague, June 17, 1767).
  • Ivo Kořán

Bohemian painter. He was the son of the painter Kristián Grund (c. 1686–1751) and brother to the painters František Karel Grund (1721–43), Petr Pavel Christian Grund (1722–84)—also a violin virtuoso—and the harpist Jan Eustach Grund. He learnt painting with his father, who released him from his apprenticeship in 1737. Subsequently he lived in Vienna and then perhaps in Germany; he probably knew his great models, Watteau, Nicolas Lancret and Francesco Guardi, only from engravings.

Grund’s work consists of a rather confused range of small pictures, embodying almost all genres in which landscapes or dwellings include figures. He painted scenes from myths, the Bible, legends and battles; he depicted love scenes, the theatre, storms at sea, visits to ruins, studios etc. Although the human figures always endow his pictures with a light touch, often there is an implicitly deeper allegorical meaning. His paintings from the 1740s are marked by a heavy Late Baroque colour scheme, in the 1750s by fragile Rococo shades; later he accomplished a smooth transition to a classicist realism. The popularity of his works in aristocratic and bourgeois circles is underlined by reproductions by Jan Balzer (1710–99) existing in over 200 prints. In the context of Czech Baroque painting his only predecessors were Jan Jakob Hartmann (1660–1745), František Antonin Hartmann (1694–1728) and Václav Jan Hartmann (1700–45) in Kutná Hora; thus it was his work that set the trend for bourgeois paintings.

Bibliography

  • P. Toman: Nový slovník československých výtvarných umĕlcu̇ [New dictionary of Czechoslovak fine artists], 1 (Prague, 1947), pp. 274–6
  • Norbert Grund (exh. cat. by J. Kříž, Vienna, Belvedere, 1967)
  • P. Preiss: ‘Malířství vrcholného baroka v Čechách’ [Painting at the height of the Baroque in the Czech lands], Dějiny českého výtvarného umění [History of Czech fine arts], 2/2 (Prague, 1989), pp. 781–2
U. Thieme and F. Becker, eds: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 vols (Leipzig, 1907–50) [see also Meissner above]