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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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Josefa de Obidos

aka: Óbidos
borndied
16301684
a Spanish-born, Portuguese painter. Her birth name was Josefa de Ayala Figueira, but she signed her work as, 'Josefa em Óbidos' or, 'Josefa de Ayalla'. She is one of the relatively few female European painters known to have been active in the Baroque era. All of her work was executed in Portugal, her father's native country, where she lived from the age of ...
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Pedro de Obregon

aka: Obregón
borndied
15971659
a Spanish painter and printmaker. According to art historian Antonio Palomino, Pedro de Obregón was initially taught by Vincenzo Carducci, and became one of his best pupils, imitating the teacher in drawing. Palomino asserts that he painted many pictures for individuals and few to the public, although some notable works include a Holy Trinity for the conven...
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Jacob Ochtervelt

borndied
16341682
a Dutch Golden Age painter. He was active in Haarlem he was active in Haarlem where he was a student of Nicolaes Pietersz Berchem and later he moved back to Rotterdam (1655–1672) where he was a pupil of Ludolf de Jongh (who also taught Pieter de Hooch).
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Joseph-Denis Odevaere

borndied
17751830
a Neo-Classical painter from the Southern Netherlands (now Belgium). He served as court painter to King William I. From 1825 to 1829, he painted several works in support of the Greek War of Independence and styled himself "Joseph Dionysius Odevaere".
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August Friedrich Oelenhainz

borndied
1745, Jun 281804, Nov 5
a German painter. At the imperial court in Vienna, he rapidly became a popular painter. He primarily painted portraits. From 1790 he worked in 1792 in Zurich and Bern. From 1800 he lived in 1801 in Stuttgart and Ulm. In 1803 he traveled to Paris and on the way home died unexpectedly.
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Cross-listed in Sculptors

Adam Friedrich Oeser

borndied
unknownunknown
a German etcher, painter and sculptor. In Dresden, he studied and created portraits and scenes for the Royal Opera, and mural paintings in Schloss Hubertusburg. In 1756 Count Heinrich von Bünau commissioned him to decorate the newly built Schloss Dahlen.
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Jan Olis

borndied
16101676
a Dutch Golden Age painter, born in Gorinchem. He is known for farm scenes, genre works, and merry companies and influenced the painter Mathieu Lenain. He died in Heusden.
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Isaac Oliver

borndied
1565 ca1617
a French-born English portrait miniature painter, and developed a naturalistic style, which was largely influenced by Italian and Flemish art. Some of his work is housed in Windsor Castle. Some of his pen drawings are located in the British Museum.
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Balthasar Paul Ommeganck

borndied
17551826
a Flemish painter of landscapes and animals. Through his work and his role as a teacher he gave an important impetus to the revitalization of landscape painting in the Low Countries.
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Izaak van Oosten

aka: Isaak, Isaac
borndied
16131661
a Flemish Baroque landscape and cabinet painter, who specialized in landscape paintings and panels for Antwerp-made cabinets. His compositions appear to have been popular. His work incorporates all the elements of the Antwerp school of landscape painting of the first half of the 17th century. He was born and died in Antwerp.
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George Willem Opdenhoff

borndied
18071873


Richard van Orley

borndied
16631732


Pedro Orrente

borndied
15801645
a Spanish painter of the Baroque period. Born in the village of Murcia, he appears to have studied with el Greco in Toledo, where he painted a San Ildefonso before the apparition of St Leocadia and the Birth of Christ for the cathedral. He often moved, painting in Murcia and Cuenca. In Valencia, he painted for the Cathedral. He set up a school, and among his...
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Francisco Meneses Osorio

borndied
16401721
a Spanish painter, born in Seville, and is thought to have died there. Very little is known of his life. He was a pupil and imitator of Murillo, and it has been suggested that some of the works attributed to the latter were painted by Osorio. We know that he was regarded by Murillo as his friend, that he was a close acquaintance of Juan Garzon, with whom he ...
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Adriaen van Ostade

borndied
16101685
a Dutch Golden Age painter of genre works. Painted the homeliest of subjects: tavern scenes, village fairs and country quarters. Almost innumerable are the more familiar themes to which he devoted his brush during this interval: from small single figures, representing smokers or drinkers, to allegories of the five senses, half-lengths of fishmongers and bake...
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Isaac van Ostade

borndied
16211649
a Dutch genre and landscape painter who began his studies under his brother, Adriaen, with whom he remained till 1641, when he started his own practice. He used broad contrasts of light and shade and displayed masterly figures of horses, riders, travellers, rustics, quarrelling children, dogs, poultry and cattle.
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Jean-Baptiste Oudry

borndied
16861755
a French Rococo painter, engraver, and tapestry designer. He is particularly well known for his naturalistic pictures of animals and his hunt pieces depicting game.
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Isaac Ouwater

borndied
17481793
an 18th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands, known for his landscapes and architectural scenes. Not much is known of his life, though he worked in Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Utrecht.
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