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Before the advent of photography, if you wanted a picture of something or someone, you had to draw it yourself -- or hire someone to do it for you. Artists (at least the good ones) could make a good living painting portraits, cityscapes, scenes of commoners, or still lifes; and also preserving for us the particulars of their lives, the styles of their clothes and houses and the details of their world. Here are some whose works have lived beyond their lifetimes.
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Johann Matthias Kager

borndied
unknownunknown
a German historical painter. He decorated many of the palaces and churches in Munich, but his finest work, called 'The Last Judgment', is in the Senate Hall at Augsburg. A notable picture by him is a representation of 'David and Abigail', now at Vienna. He etched several plates from his own design, representing religious subjects (dated 1600, 1601, 1603), an...
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Willem Kalf

borndied
16191693
a Dutch Golden Age painter who specialized in still lifes. Later in his life, Kalf became an art dealer and appraiser. In the late 1630s, Willem Kalf travelled to Paris and spent time in the circle of the Flemish artists in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris. In Paris he painted mainly small-scale rustic interiors and still lifes. Kalf’s rustic interiors are t...
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Kasparus Karsen

borndied
18101896
a 19th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands who specialised in townscapes. He was a pupil of Hendrik Gerrit ten Cate, Dirck Vettewinkel, and George Pieter Westenberg, who later taught Cornelis Springer 1835-1837 and worked in Haarlem 1842-1844. He became a member of Arti et Amicitiae in 1836 and enjoyed making trips to Prague and Germany. Besides Sp...
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Wolfgang Katzheimer

borndied
1430 ca1508
a German painter, draftsman, and designer. From 1465 he was master of a workshop in Bamberg that produced paintings and woodcarvings. Very little of his work has survived: two stone carvings that he designed and 22 woodcuts based on his drawings. No surviving paintings can with certainty be attributed to him.
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Angelica Kauffman

borndied
17401807
an Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. She was one of the two female founding members of the Royal Academy in London in 1768.
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Moritz Kellerhoven

borndied
17581830, Dec 15
a German portrait painter and etcher. Upon the recommendation of Johann Peter von Langer (an acquaintance from Düsseldorf) he became one of the first professors at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich after its reorganization in 1808. He remained there as a teacher and manager until his death and earned a reputation as one of Germany's greatest portrait painters...
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Cross-listed in Military

Frederick Kemmelmeyer

bornactivedied
1752/531782-18161823 ca
Frederick Kemmelmeyer advertised that he was an artist for the first time in a Baltimore newspaper. It is not known how long he had been in Baltimore or where he was living. He announced that he had “opened a DRAWING-SCHOOL for young Gentlemen, at his house, next door to Doctor Lemmon’s in Holliday-street.” There are no works attributed to Kemmelmeyer ...
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John Frederick Kensett

borndied
18161872
an American artist and engraver. A member of the second generation of the Hudson River School of artists, Kensett's signature works are landscape paintings of New England and New York State, whose clear light and serene surfaces celebrate transcendental qualities of nature, and are associated with Luminism. Kensett's early work owed much to the influence of ...
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Cross-listed in Scientists

Thomas Kensett

borndied
17861829, Jun 16
an early American engraver who published a key map of the area of conflict during the opening stages of the War of 1812. He later entered into a partnership with his father-in-law to patent and produce the first tin cans in America.
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Jan van Kessel the Elder

borndied
16261679
a Flemish painter of still lifes and Jan Brueghel the Elder's grandson. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1644 as 'blomschilder' (flower painter). The 17th-century Flemish biographer Cornelis de Bie included van Kessel in his book on Flemish painters called Het Gulden Kabinet. more
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Cross-listed in Inventors

Franz Kessler

borndied
unknownunknown
a portrait painter, scholar, inventor and alchemist living in the Holy Roman Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries. He wrote a number of books and pamphlets: a book on stoves, on making sundials, on using a 'sector' or 'proportional instrument' (a simple calculator), and on using 'Napier's bones' (another calculator) -- among other works. In the 1620s an...
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Cross-listed in SculptorsWriters

Cornelis Ketel

borndied
15481616
a Dutch Mannerist painter, active in Elizabethan London from 1573 to 1581, and in Amsterdam from 1581 to the early 17th century, now known essentially as a portrait-painter, though he was also a poet and orator, and from 1595 began to sculpt as well.
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Adriaen Thomasz Key

borndied
15441589
a Flemish Renaissance portrait painter. Little is known of his life. According to the Rijksmuseum, he was a pupil of his (distant) relative Willem Key. According to the RKD he became a vrijmeester, or master in the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1568.
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Willem Key

borndied
15151568
a Flemish renaissance painter. He became a member of the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp in 1540. He became specialized in flattering portraits and made a good living from theatrically posed group portraits. In van Mander's biography, he mentions several larger pieces by his hand that were burned during the Beeldenstorm.
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Cross-listed in Architects

Abdallah Khan

bornactivedied
unknown1810-1850unknown
a Persian painter and architect, active between 1810 and 1850 in Tehran. He received his apprenticeship in the royal workshops. In 1839, he was appointed by the King of Persia, Mohammad Shah Qajar (d. 1848), as painter laureate, court architect and supervisor of the royal workshops. Khan's best known work is a mural covering three internal walls of the Nigar...
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Cornelis Kick

borndied
16341681
a Dutch Golden Age painter. Cornelis Kick is recorded as a painter from 1650 and specialized in flower still lifes, in the manner of his teacher Jan Davidsz de Heem. Kick married the daughter of the pawnbroker Spaaroog of the Bank van Lening, whose father had a garden outside the St Anthony's gate of Amsterdam. It was here that he painted flowers from nature...
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Simon Kick

borndied
16031652
a Dutch Golden Age painter. According to the RKD he was the son of the Delft varnish worker Willem Kick. He married Christina (Stijntje) Duyster, who he got engaged to on the same day that her brother, the painter Willem Duyster got engaged to Simon's sister Margrieta. Simon and Stijntje became the parents of the painter Cornelis Kick. He is known for portra...
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Lawrence Kilburn

aka: Kilbrunn, Kilbourn
borndied
17201775
a painter active in the colony of New York. He was for nearly twenty years the portraitist of choice in New York City, and is said to have been the first portraitist in the city. Kilburn is said by at least one source to have been a Moravian of Danish birth. He arrived in New York from London in May, 1754, on the brig Maria captained by Thomas Miller, and im...
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Samuel King

borndied
1748/491819
American artist, instrument maker, painter


Francois-Joseph Kinson

aka: François-Joseph
borndied
17711839
a Flemish painter. Kinson attended art school at Bruges and soon established a reputation in Ghent and Brussels. He exhibited a portrait in Paris in 1799. Settling in Paris after the exhibition, the artist courted the favor of the rich and famous of the time. He worked for Napoleon’s court and eventually became court painter to Jérôme Bonaparte, King of ...
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Cross-listed in Writers

Joshua Kirby

aka: John Joshua Kirby
borndied
17161774
an English 18th-century landscape painter, engraver, writer, draughtsman and architect famed for his publications and teaching on linear perspective based on Brook Taylor's mathematics. From an early age he was very studious, but, showing special aptitude as an artist, he settled down to work as a painter in Ipswich and accepted commissions. He was particula...
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Cross-listed in ArchitectsWriters

Leo von Klenze

bornactivedied
1784, Feb 291808-1840s1864, Jan 26
a German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer. Court architect of Bavarian King Ludwig I, Leo von Klenze was one of the most prominent representatives of Greek revival style. In many of his paintings ancient buildings were depicted. Those served as models for his own architectural projects. Klenze studied ancient architecture during his travels to Ita...
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Cross-listed in MilitaryWritersEducators

Friedrich August von Klinkowstrom

aka: Klinkowström
borndied
unknownunknown
a German artist, author and teacher from an old Pomeranian noble family. His early pictures as well showed a strong leaning towards the Roman Catholic Church. After two stints in the army, there came three quiet years of painting and literary work. He devoted himself particularly to children's books for which he provided designs and illustrations.
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William Kneass

bornactivedied
1781, Sep 251812-18401840, Aug 27
the second Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1824 until his death in 1840. Kneass is credited with designing the "Classic Head" motif, which appeared on numerous denominations of American currency, including the gold Quarter Eagle ($2.50) and Half Eagle ($5.00) gold pieces from 1834-1839. He also modified John Reich's "Capped Bust" design on the ...
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Godfrey Kneller

borndied
1646/491723
the leading portrait painter in England during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and was court painter to English and British monarchs from Charles II to George I. His major works include The Chinese Convert (1687; Royal Collection, London); a series of four portraits of more
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Christoph Heinrich Kniep

borndied
17551825
a German painter. He is renowned for accompanying Goethe in his Italian Journey to Naples, Paestum and Sicily, executing several drawings whilst there. Initially, he worked as a portrait artist, then in 1781 he traveled to Italy, where he painted primarily vistas and landscapes.
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Henriette Geertruida Knip

aka: Henriëtte
borndied
1783, Jul 191842, May 29
a flower painter from the Northern Netherlands. After her father went blind, she followed lessons from her older brother, Joseph August Knip, and in 1802 she followed him to Paris, where she took lessons from the flower painter Gerard van Spaendonck. She became a successful painter and spent summers in Haarlem painting the flowers of the various flower compa...
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Joseph August Knip

borndied
17771847, Sep
a Dutch painter. At nineteen he became the family breadwinner, after his father went blind, and he was the first teacher of his younger sister Henriëtte Geertruida Knip. In 1801 he established himself in Paris, where he accepted commissions for topographical paintings. He also became drawing master to Napoleon III of France. He spent nine years in Paris. At...
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Cross-listed in Architects

Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff

borndied
unknownunknown
a painter and architect in Prussia. Knobelsdorff was influenced as an architect by French Baroque Classicism and by Palladian architecture. With his interior design and the backing of the king, he created the basis for the Frederician Rococo style at Rheinsberg, which was the residence of the crown prince and later monarch. Already at 16 years of age he part...
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Nikolaus Knupfer

aka: Knüpfer
borndied
unknownunknown
a Dutch Golden Age painter. Knüpfer painted small scale paintings with biblical, literary, and mythological themes, in addition to the popular genre works of his day. His figures are often in unusual poses, and painted with flowing lines with white accents.
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Ferdinand Kobell

borndied
unknownunknown
a German painter and engraver. He specialized in landscapes, following the style of Berchem, and his work shows a jealous study of natural effects. His oil painting are in a number of German galleries (Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, Stuttgart, and Augsburg), but his work as an engraver has more importance. His etchings (about 300) were published by Frauenholz, in Mun...
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Franz Kobell

borndied
unknownunknown
a German painter, etcher and draftsman. He produced only a few oil paintings, highly praised by Goethe, a notable example being “Rocky landscape with waterfalls,” once in the Bamberg gallery. Endowed as he was with an exuberant fancy and extraordinary facility of production, the process of painting proved too slow to keep pace with his ideas, and he most...
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Hendrik Kobell

borndied
17511779 ca
an 18th-century landscape and marine painter, etcher, draftsman and watercolorist from the Northern Netherlands. He painted in oils and watercolors, doing landscapes and marines. His work is distinguished by skillful manipulation and lifelike depiction. His work as a draftsman and etcher was also notable. He was esteemed for his numerous drawings, executed i...
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Wilhelm von Kobell

borndied
unknownunknown
a German artist, a painter, printmaker and teacher. His early paintings were landscapes, rural genre scenes, and animal pieces, of which the galleries of Bamberg, Weimar, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Darmstadt, Frankfort, and Wiesbaden contain fine specimens. Throughout his life Kobell traveled to England, France and Italy but ultimately based his style on D...
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Isaack Koedijck

borndied
16181668
a Dutch Golden Age painter. According to Johan van Gool, he saw two excellent cabinet pieces painted in the tradition of Gerard Dou in the collection of Willem Lormier in the Hague, of a farmer being bandaged on his knee in a "barber shop", and a boy stealing some almonds while looking over his shoulder to see if anyone notices. According to the RKD he worke...
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Barend Cornelis Koekkoek

borndied
18031862
a Dutch landscape artist and father of Johannes Hermanus Barend Koekkoek. In Cleves, where he would spend the rest of his life, Koekkoek painted his most important landscapes, ranging from extensive river valleys to idyllic forest views dominated by one or more oaks. He often dramatized his trees as a means to emphasize man’s paltriness in comparison to na...
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Hermanus Koekkoek

borndied
18151882
a 19th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands. He was born in Middelburg as the son of Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek. He was the brother of Barend Cornelis, Marinus Adrianus and Johannes. He became the father of Hermanus the Younger, Willem, Johannes Hermanus Barend, and Barend Hendrik. Like his father and brothers, he is known for landscapes and taught ...
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Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek

bornactivedied
17781793-18511851
a Dutch painter and draughtsman. Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek initially trained under Thomas Gaal, working in a wallpaper factory. He became primarily a marine art and genre art painter. He was active between 1793 and 1851, and worked in Middelburg, Durgerdam, Amsterdam (1833–1851), and Medemblik (1838) and Katwijk aan Zee.
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Marianus Adrianus Koekkoek

borndied
18071868
Born in Amsterdam; Died in Niewer-Amstel


Cross-listed in WritersEducators

Jan Philip Koelman

aka: Johan
borndied
18181893
a Dutch painter, sculptor, writer and teacher, involved during part of his life in revolutionary activity. He attended Cornelis Kruseman's studio together with other artists of this period, such as Alexander Hugo Bakker Korff, David Bles and Herman ten Kate. Between 1846 and 1851 Koelman lived in Rome, to where he travelled for artistic purposes, but where h...
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Heinrich Christoph Kolbe

borndied
1771, Apr 21836, Jan 16
a German painter. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. Kolbe was born and died in Düsseldorf. After his education at the 'old' Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and then went to Paris for ten years to study. He was part of the circle of Friedrich Schlegel and worked on the review "Europa". He later worked in the studio of François Gérard. In ...
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Johann Konig

aka: König
borndied
unknownunknown
a German painter. The son of a Nuremberg goldsmith, König was a follower of Adam Elsheimer. He is known today primarily because of his very finely painted copper panels. König was known as a painter of small-format images on copper and colorful miniatures and Kunstkammer pieces on marble. Less well known is König for a series of large canvases with person...
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Cross-listed in GovernanceWritersPerformers

Amalia von Konigsmarck

aka: Königsmarck
borndied
1663, Aug 201740, Jan 30
a Swedish noble, known as a dilettante artist (painter), amateur actor, and poet. Her known paintings include a self-portrait from 1688, a portrait of her sister Aurora, a portrait of the noble Katarina Ebba Horn from 1698 and a portrait of Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. She participated at the amateur theatre of the royal court encouraged by the queen, Ulrika ...
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Salomon Koninck

borndied
16091656
a Dutch painter of genre scenes and portraits, and an engraver. Koninck was born in Amsterdam. He moved in the circles of Rembrandt and the academy of Hendrick van Uylenburgh, making many copies of Rembrandt's compositions. His paintings have a warm colour palette...
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Emma Korner

aka: Körner
borndied
unknownunknown
a German painter, a pupil of the Swiss painter Anton Graff, and sister of the poet and soldier Carl Theodor Körner. Together with her brother Theodor, Emma was raised in a home with a lively social, artistic, and intellectual life. In her brief artistic career, Emma Körner painted a portrait of Schiller in his final years, as well as numerous portraits of ...
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Philip van Kouwenbergh

borndied
16711729
an 18th-century flower painter from the Northern Netherlands. He was born in Amsterdam. According to the RKD he was a pupil of Elias van den Broeck and is known for flower still lifes. He lived his whole life in Amsterdam, where he later died.
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Jan Kraeck

borndied
1540 ca1607
a Dutch Renaissance painter who travelled to Italy and remained there. According to Karel van Mander he was visited by Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom in 1585 in Turin. According to the RKD he was the father-in-law of the painter-architect Friedrich Sustris and became court painter to Emanuel Philibert, duc de Savoie and after the duke died in 1580, to the duke's su...
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Johann Peter Krafft

borndied
unknownunknown
a German-Austrian painter. Krafft was born in Hanau, Hesse. At the age of ten, he began his art studies at the Hanau Akademie. In 1799, he moved to Vienna and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts for three years under the tutelage of Heinrich Füger. From 1802 to 1808, he studied in Paris, with Jacques-Louis David and François Gérard, and then in Rome. On h...
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Georg Melchior Kraus

borndied
1737, Jul 261806, Nov 5
a German painter. A student of Johann Heinrich Tischbein, he was also a teacher himself (his pupils included Ferdinand Jagemann), as well as an entrepreneur and friend of Goethe. He was a co-founder of the Fürstliche freie Zeichenschule Weimar with Friedrich Justin Bertuch in 1776.
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Cornelius Krieghoff

borndied
18151872
a Canadian painter of the 19th century. Krieghoff is most famous for his paintings of Canadian landscapes and Canadian life outdoors, which were sought-after in his own time as they are today. Krieghoff was born in Amsterdam. He is particularly famous for his winter scenes, some of which he painted in a number of variants (e.g. Running the Toll).
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John Lewis Krimmel

borndied
17861821
sometimes called "the American Hogarth" was America's first painter of genre scenes. Born in Germany, he emigrated to Philadelphia in 1809 and soon became a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Initially influenced by Scotland's David Wilkie, England's William Hogarth and America's more
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Cornelis Kruseman

borndied
17971857
a Dutch painter, draughtsman, etcher, lithographer, silhouettist, paper-cut artist, and art collector. He was born on 25 September 1797 in Amsterdam in the Batavian Republic (the present-day Netherlands) as the son of Alexander Hendrik Kruseman (1765–1829) and Cornelia Bötger. Kruseman's oeuvre consists of portraits, biblical subjects and Italian scenes.
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Frederik Marinus Kruseman

borndied
18161882
Born in Haarlem; Died in Haarlem


Jan Adam Kruseman

borndied
18041862
a 19th-century portrait painter from the Northern Netherlands. During 1822–1824 he followed lessons in Brussels from François-Joseph Navez and Jacques-Louis David. He was one of the founders of the Amsterdam society Arti et Amicitiae in 1839 and became a director there. He travelled in England, France and Germany and was a teacher at the Amsterdam Royal A...
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Hendrick Dirk Kruseman van Elten

borndied
18231904
Born in Amsterdam; Died in Lisse


Pieter Cornelisz Kunst

borndied
14841561
a Dutch Renaissance painter. Kunst was one of the three sons of the painter Cornelis Engebrechtsz who became a painter and glass painter (engraver). His brothers Cornelis Cornelisz Kunst and Lucas Cornelisz de Kock were also painters. He is known for historical allegories, drawings, and glass painting. In 1509 he married Marijtgen Gerritsdr van Dam, with who...
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