Swiss-born Adrian Zingg completed his studies in Paris before establishing a studio in Dresden, where he served as an instructor in the art academy and helped inspire a generation of landscape painters—including, most notably, Caspar David Friedrich. Together with his friend and artistic associate Anton Graff, Zingg explored and popularized the hilly countryside east of Dresden, still know by the name they gave it, “Saxonian Switzerland” (“Sächsische Schweiz.”)
Those hills likely inspired the setting of this exquisite drawing, depicting a variation on a time-honored motif: shepherds in an idyllic setting encountering a tomb inscribed with a reminder of mortality: “Et in Arcadia ego,” Latin for “Even in Arcadia I [Death] too am to be found.” Unusually, Zingg writes the inscription in Greek, perhaps to suggest an earlier antiquity than Poussin’s famous painting—and probably to distinguish this variation from the many others being created by German artists at about this time.
deaths; landscapes; tombs; musical instruments; figures; animals; dogs; sheep; pastoral art
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