Sebastian Stoskopff

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Sebastian Stoskopff (born July 13, 1597 in Strasbourg , † February 10, 1657 in Idstein ) was an Alsatian painter who mainly painted still lifes .

His works, which were rediscovered from 1930 by the art historian Hans Haug , reproduce goblets, mugs and, above all, glasses. The reduction to a few objects, which is characteristic of the early French still life, is recognizable in Stoskopff's painting.


Vanitas Still Life, Kunstmuseum Basel (1630)
Still life with glasses and pate, Strasbourg, Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame (around 1640)
Vanitas, Strasbourg, Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame (around 1650)

Sebastian Stoskopff's father had been employed in the service of the city of Strasbourg as a single horse since 1590, who acted as a mounted courier or companion to the prince. In 1614, the father turned to the city council with a request for support for his then 17-year-old son. He wanted his son to be able to learn the painting trade, as Sebastian Stoskopff had been drawing and painting with great talent since he was 15. The council agreed to provide support and probably sent the young artist to the Strasbourg painter and engraver Friedrich Brentel for the time being . But with this he only learned to refine his art of drawing and was not, as hoped, instructed in the art of painting.

In 1615, von Stoskopff's father died and his widowed mother went to the Strasbourg council again to ask for support for training with a recognized painter. Stoskopff was then sent to Hanau to see the painter Daniel Soreau who worked there. At first he was not very enthusiastic, because otherwise he would choose his apprentices from among his relatives and close friends. In the end he complied with the council's request and assured him that he wanted to “ turn this apprentice into an Albrecht Dürer ”. There is not a single secured picture of Daniel Soreau. Through the artistic communication of the master to his students, conclusions can only be drawn about the works of his sons, other apprentices in his workshop and about Stoskopff's works.

After Soreau's death in 1619, Stoskopff took over his workshop with the apprentices and his function as a master. One of the apprentices was Joachim von Sandrart , who later became a successful painter and wrote the first important work on art history in German: Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste . This work contains descriptions of the lives of earlier and contemporary artists, including descriptions of the time in Hanau with his teacher Sebastian Stoskopff.

After the application for the approval of a branch in Frankfurt am Main failed, Stoskopff went to Paris . He stayed there from around 1622 to 1639, as can be reconstructed on the basis of indirect reports and property inventories of Parisian citizens. It was here that his first large-format works were created, such as Der Sommer or Der Winter . A contemporary communication from Sandrart also documents his stay in Paris:

“From then [Hanau is meant] he traveled to France and left behind many good works; from Paris he moved to Italy (wherever I saw him in Venice in 1629), afterwards back to Paris and so on to Strasbourg [...]. "

In 1639 Stoskopff returned to Strasbourg. The reasons for this could have been familial or the strong intensification of religious differences in Paris. A year later he joined the Steltz guild, which also included other painters, engravers and artisans. After joining the guild, there were several arguments between the artist and the guild, among other things because Stoskopff loved his freedom as an independent and self-reliant artist and did not want to run a workshop with apprentices, as was otherwise customary. He made wealth and prestige in Strasbourg and in 1646 married the stepdaughter of his youngest sister.

From 1650 Stoskopff oriented himself more and more to Idstein , where he maintained a close and good relationship with Count Johannes von Nassau and Idstein , who belonged to the Lutheran faith and was on the side of the Protestant Union , in his last creative phase until his death . He was Stoskopff's most important patron at the time. Joachim von Sandrart was an important contact man who conveyed Stoskopff's pictures to the count.

Sebastian Stoskopff died at the age of 60 in 1657 in an inn near Idstein. He is said to have died due to excessive alcohol consumption. Almost 20 years later, in the course of a witchcraft indictment, it was clarified that Stoskopff had been murdered by the then owner of the inn and a woman out of greed.


Although Sebastian Stoskopff was influenced by Georg Flegel in terms of composition , it is not known whether he had known Flegel during his lifetime or whether he only saw the works after Flegel's death. Furthermore, the influence seems to have been “rather sporadic and not permanent”.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Susanne Tschirner: Alsace. Half-timbered villages and historical towns Castles and churches in the wine country between the Rhine and the Vosges , Dumont, Cologne 1998, p. 67, preview in the Google book search
  2. ^ Anne-Dore Ketelsen-Volkhardt: Georg Flegel. 1566-1638 . Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich; Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-422-06378-1 , p. 28.
  3. Michèle-Caroline Heck: The influence of Georg Flegels on Sebastian Stoskopff . In: Kurt Wettengl: Georg Flegel (1566−1638), still life. [Publication for the exhibition "Georg Flegel (1566−1638), Stilleben" of the Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt from December 18 to February 13, 1994] . Hatje, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-7757-0472-8 , pp. 241−246.


  • Wolfgang J. Müller, Silvia Berger: Sebastian Stoskopff - his life - his work - his time , exhibition catalog. Idstein 1987.
  • Birgit Hahn-Woernle: Sebastian Stoskopff. With a critical catalog raisonné of the paintings . Hatje, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-7757-0568-6 .
  • Michèle-Caroline Heck: Sébastian Stoskopff 1597−1657. Un maître de la nature morte . Éditions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris 1997, ISBN 2-7118-3545-6 [= Sebastian Stoskopff 1597−1657. A master of the still life].
  • Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The history of still life , Hirmer, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-7774-7890-3 .
  • Birgit Hahn-Woernle:  Stosskopff, Sebastian. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 25, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-428-11206-7 , pp. 457 f. ( Digitized version ).

Web links

Commons : Sebastian Stoskopff  - Collection of images, videos and audio files