Johann Ludwig Aberli:
Swiss, 1723-1786, Swiss painter, draughtsman and engraver. In 1741 he moved to Berne, where he took drawing lessons with Johann Grimm (1675-1747), whose school of drawing he took over in 1747. He visited the Bernese Oberland with Emanuel Handmann, Christian Georg Schetz (1718-91) and Friedrich Wilhelm Hirt (1721-72) in 1759 and in the same year travelled to Paris with Adrian Zingg (1734-86). This was his only trip abroad, but it determined him to work exclusively as a landscape painter. After nine months he returned to Berne, where his landscape views became popular, particularly with foreign travellers, enamoured of 'Nature' and keen to retain souvenirs of their travels. He was one of the first artists to portray the beauties of the Swiss countryside; his favourite subjects were the Aare Valley and views of Swiss lakes (e.g. View of Erlach on the Lake of Biel; Berne, Kstmus.). He invented a technique known as the 'Aberli style', which consisted of watercolour washes added to an image in which slightly smudged outlines were achieved through a combination of engraving and etching. The prints were made from drawings taken from nature and finished in the studio. His style was characterized by delicate execution, an intimate narrative approach, refined colours and the ability to convey a light and vaporous atmosphere. Aberli's success was such that he had to employ assistants and pupils to aid him in the coloration process; his pupils included Erasmus Ritter, Johann Jakob Biedermann, Marquard Wocher (1760-1830), Gabriel Ludwig Lory the elder (1763-1840) and Peter Birmann. From 1773 to 1775 Aberli also painted a series of costumes in response to tourist demand.