Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti, “Warrior with Drawn Sword”, 1808, Oil on Canvas, 92.5 x 73 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Born in 1777 in the municipality of Maastricht in the southern Netherlands, Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti was a Dutch Neo-classical painter. The son of Italian lawyer Arnold Josua Joannes Alberti and his Belgian wife Maria Catharine Vogels, he was baptized on the 20th of June in 1777 in Maastricht’s Saint Martin’s Church.
At the age of five, Joannes Alberti moved with his parents to Amsterdam. He began his initial art training in 1796 at Amsterdam’s City Drawing Academy. For two chalk drawings of male nudes entered in competitions, Alberti won a third class prize in 1803 and a second class prize in 1804..These works are currently in the collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. In 1804, Alberti won the gold medal of honor at the Felix Meritis Society’s exhibition for his drawing “Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage”. He won another gold medal in 1805 at the Felix Meritis Society for his drawing of the Greek Hellenistic king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
In the beginning of 1807, Alberti received a four-year student pension from the Kingdom of Holland’s Ministry of the Arts for studies in Paris and Rome. He found residence in Paris on the Rue Bataves and, on the fifth of March, enrolled in the École des Beaux Arts where he studied under history painter Jacques-Louis David until 1809. Alberti painted copies after the work of Flemish artist Antoon (Anthony) van Dyck and Italian artist Guido Reni, who painted primarily religious works. As a favored artist of Louis I, the King of Holland, he sent some of his work to Amsterdam for exhibitions in 1808 and 1810,
In the middle of October in 1809, Joannes Alberti, along with fellow artists Josephus Augustus Knip and Peter Rudolf Kleijn, traveled to Rome, Italy. He met and took up residence with French painter and draftsman Claude Thiénon, who specialized in landscape scenery. Alberti made copies of old master paintings but also personal works. Among the works he shipped back to Holland in 1810 was his painting “Proculeius Prevents Cleopatra’s Suicide”. After returning to Paris, Alberti made engravings coped after master paintings. He also published an educational course on drawing entitled “Cours Complet Théorique et Pratique de l’Art du Dessin”.
From baptismal records, we know that, through Alberti’s union with Marie Catherine Joséphine Neumeyer, a son named Pierre Charles Antoine Raphaël Alberti was born in Paris on the 12th of December in 1807. From the Departmental Archives of Haute-Marne, a birth certificate shows that a second son, François Eliza Charles Prosper, was born in the town of Giey-sur-Aujon on the 26th of January in 1813.
Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti became a member of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1822. The Archives de Paris places his death in Paris on the 10th of May in 1832; he is buried in Paris’s Montparnasse Cemetery. Three of Alberti’s works are in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam: the 1808 “Warrior with Shield and Spear”, the 1808 “Warrior with a Sword” and the 1810 “Proculus Prevents Cleopatra’s Suicide”. His 1809 “Scene from the Polish Revolution” is housed in Berlin’s Staatliche Museum Preussischer KulturBesitz.
Top Insert Image: Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti, “Warrior with Lance and Shield”, 1808, Oil on Canvas, 72.5 x 91.5, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Second Insert Image: Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti, “The Preaching of John the Baptist”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 60 x 82 cm, Private Collection
Bottom Insert Image: Joannes Echarius Carolus Alberti (Attributed), (Warrior with Spears and Shield), Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, 112 x 88 cm, Private Collection