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date: 20 November 2019

Meil, Johann Wilhelmlocked

(b Altenburg, Oct 23, 1733; d Berlin, Feb 2, 1805).
  • Freya Probst


(b Altenburg, Oct 23, 1733; d Berlin, Feb 2, 1805).

German engraver and designer. He is regarded as one of the most important 18th-century German engravers. His father, Johann Christoph Meil, who died young, had been court sculptor in Altenburg. His stepfather, also a sculptor, directed Meil towards a career in science. At the university of Leipzig, however, Meil trained as an engraver and attended lectures on art history, art theory and philosophy. In 1752 he went to Berlin, where he met the brothers Johann Christian Hoppenhaupt and Johann Michael Hoppenhaupt II (see Hoppenhaupt family), who engaged him primarily as an engraver for their designs. Between 1752 and 1755 Meil produced a number of engravings of tables, clock-cases, chandeliers and other items in the Rococo style, based on drawings by the Hoppenhaupt brothers. Meil also designed furniture, jewellery and motifs for porcelain painting and the 12 vases that stand in front of the picture gallery in Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam. His major field of work, however, was book illustration. He joined the circle of the poet Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and in ...

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