Johann Rudolf Füssli

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Johann Rudolf Füssli (the younger, also Rudolf Füssli , Hans-Rudolf Füssli or Füessli ; born September 5, 1709 in Zurich ; † September 12, 1793 ibid) was a Swiss painter , art historian and lexicographer .

Johann Rudolf Füssli was a son of the mayor Heinrich Füssli and his wife Dorothea, geb. Grebel. He first apprenticed to his relative, the painter Johann Melchior Füssli in Zurich and then to Philipp Jakob Loutherbourg the elder in Paris. Back in Zurich, he devoted himself less to his artistic activities than to art historical studies. From 1744 to 1746 he created the New Year's papers for the Zurich Fireworks Society .

He became a partner of his cousin Johann Heidegger in the printing company Heidegger & Co., which was renamed Füssli & Co. in 1766, and in 1779 the company merged with Orell, Gessner & Co. (today Orell Füssli ).

Füssli dealt intensively with the history of art and in 1763 published the general artist = lexicon for the first time , which also includes a list of portraits of the artists listed. In 1779 a new edition was published by his son Hans Heinrich Füssli (1745–1832); from 1806 to 1821 he also published several supplement volumes. This work forms the basis of all subsequent 19th century artists' dictionaries.


  • General Artist = Lexicon, or: Brief message about the life and works of the Mahler, sculptor, builder, copper engraver, art caster, steel cutter, [et] c. [et] c., together with an attached list of the portraits of the artists contained in this lexicon, described in alphabetical order . Heidegger and Compagnie, Zurich 1763 ( digitized ).
  • General artist lexicon, or: Brief message about the life and works of the painters, sculptors, builders, copper engravers, art foundries, steel cutters, [et] c. [Etc. Along with attached lists of teachers and students; also of the portraits of the artists contained in this lexicon . Orell, Geßner, Füeßlin and Compagnie, Zurich 1779 ( digitized version ).