Franz de Paula Ferg, Austrian 1689-1740.
An Old Master Oil Painting on Wood Panel of an armory inspection by Franz de Paula Ferg in 1730.
Approximately 10" x 13" oil on wood panel signed in the lower left corner.
In the frame the antique oil painting is 15" tall by 18" wide.
Franz de Paula Ferg studied landscape painting with his father, Adam Pankraz Ferg (1651-1729), and with Josef Orient (1677-1747) and staffage painting with Johann (Hans) Graf (1653-1710).
He also studied the engravings of Jacques Callot and Sébastien Leclerc.
His early works show such subjects as harbours, markets and villages as wide vistas with many figures, trees and buildings, for example Fair with Temple and Maypole (Vienna, Belvedere).
These scenes combine landscape and genre and are characteristic examples of early 18th-century Austrian panel painting, showing the influence of Dutch, Flemish and Italian models.
The colors are dark, and the staffage figures in the manner of Graf are slender, with small heads and peculiarly wooden poses.
In 1718 Ferg left Vienna and went to Franconia, Bamberg, and Leipzig.
There he met Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752), whom he accompanied to Dresden.
A small self-portrait (untraced) from this period was bought by the painter Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich.
Later Ferg travelled to Lower Saxony and from about 1724 lived in London, where he made an unfortunate marriage and died in misery.
In 1726 he created a series of eight etched Capricci (preparatory sketches in Vienna, Albertina), which help to date many smaller pictures to the London period.
His late cabinet pieces contain fewer, clearly drawn figures, set in Italianate landscapes with ruins; their Arcadian mood, brilliant color and Rococo manner are particularly pleasing.
Works by Ferg are held in the following collection: Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, among others.