Elliger, Ottomar

, the son of the preceding, was born at Hamburgh, Feb. 16, 1666. He learned of his father the first elements of painting; from whom he went to Amsterdam, and studied under Michael Van Musscher. Struck with the beauty of the works of Lairessc, he was fortunate enough to gain admission to his school in 1686, None conld be more assiduous than this disciple in follow^ ing the lessons of his master, whether in copying his works and those of others, or in painting from nature. The genius of the young painter was encouraged by Lairesse: one year of his instructions qualified him for composing freely, without following any other model than nature, and without having in view the manner of any one; his own is grand and noble, and his back grounds are of a fine architecture: among them are to be found the most valuable remains of the Ægyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans. If the scene of his composition was to be laid in one of these countries, he likewise introduced bas-reliefs relative to the time: he was a man of genius, and had a mind well stored with literature, and his pictures are therefore interesting both to painters and scholars. At Amsterdam he painted several cielings and large subjects for ornaments to the public halls and grand apartments. The elector of Mcntz took so much pleasure in contemplating his works, that he ordered of him two very large pictures, owe representing the Death of Alexander, the other the nuptials of Thetis and Peleus; which are both highly celebrated. The elector was so satisfied with them, that be amply paid the artist, and made him a rich present besides: he also appointed him his principal painter, but which title Elliger refused, as well as the pension that was attached to it, preferring his liberty, as he said, to an honourable bondage; and soon after retired to his own country. Typography was embellished with the ingenious compositions of his hand but this took up so much of his time, that he had but little for applying to grand works he made pictures in small sixes, not unworthy of being placed in the first cabinets. This good artist may justly boast also of the “Banquet of the Gods,” a large picture, sufficient, of itself to immortalize his name. But this man, to amiable, and so much esteemed, soon fell into intemperance and contempt, and his works no longer resembled those of his former years, scarcely any of them rising above mediocrity. He died Nov. 24, 1732, in the | sixtysixth year of his age. In the cabinet of M. Half-Wassenaer, at the Hague, was lately his very fine picture representing Alexander dying. 1


Deschamps, vol IV.—Pilkingtn.