Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki
1726 Danzig – Berlin 1801

German painter, draughtsman, illustrator, engraver and etcher of Polish origin

As the son of a merchant from Danzig he had to become a tradesman as well. In 1743 he came to Berlin to work in the shop of his uncle Antoine Ayrer, who took care about a good education of his nephews. Daniel and his brother Gottfried were trained by the enamel painter Johann Jakob Haid (1704-1767) from Augsburg.

In his early period Chodowiecki painted smaller sized portraits and domestic scenes and he had first success with illustrations for calanders and almanacs. But for his later graphic works of art he became famous world-wide. He made more than 2000 etchings, mainly with illustrations for books by Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, and Klopstock.

Besides he also illustrated scientific books and translations of foreign writers. And in many pictures he documented life in Prussia during the second half of the 18th century.

In 1764 Chodowiecki became a member of the academy of arts in Berlin, 1786 its sectretary, who was responsible for the adademy's exhibitions, 1790 deputy director and from 1797 until 1801 he was the academy's director.