Vyth, John Martin

, an extraordinary artist, was born at Schafhausen, in May 1650. He travelled and resided long at Rome and Venice. On his return he married Elizabeth Ott, and died in April 1717. This is nearly all the information which the attention and the taste of his country has preserved of a man, who, on the evidence of his few remaining works, commands a place among the best artists of his time. Some anecdotes indeed are told, relative to his circumstances, which were as ludicrously penurious as Brauwer’s. At Berne and Basle, they still shew his Adieu and death of Adonis, and the Adultress in the Temple. Schafhausen possesses the Rape of the Sabines, the judgment of Paris, Scipio and the Celtiberian princess, the death of Cleopatra, and that of Cato; and at Geneva there are yet some subjects painted by him from the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Veyth’s style of design is an imitation of the forms of Michael Angelo, but not a compilation from his figures. His method of drawing is wild and great: seldom he makes use of the pen; dashes of white on stained paper mark the lights, the paper the middle tints, and a little black the shade. In composition he sometimes sacrificed the main subject to the episodic part, if it happened to invite by picturesque allurements. In~ colour, though he followed the Venetian principle, especially Bassan, he had a characteristic and varied tone drawn from the nature of the subjects. 2


Pilkington, by Fuseli.