Christoph Heinrich Kniep
1755 Hildesheim – Naples 1825

German painter and draughtsman

Kniep was trained by the sculptor and painter Johann Friedrich Blasius  Ziesenis (1715-1785) and portrait painter Johann Georg Ziesenis (1716-1777) in Hannover. Then he lived and worked as portrait painter in Hamburg where he met Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Matthias Claudius, Johann Heinrich Voß and Jens Juel (1745-1802) and other artists. Later on he worked in Kassel, Lübeck and Berlin, where he found his patron, the prince-bishop of Ermland, in 1781.

The bishop organized a travel grant to Italy for him. In Rome Kniep earned his living by drawing views and copying classicical works of art. About 1782/83 he moved to Neaples. He was supported by many well known artists, e.g. by Jakob Philipp Hackert (1737-1807) and Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829) as well as by Johann Wolgang von Goethe (1749-1832), and most of the picturesque worked out landscape drawings he created from 1787 to 1799 he made in commission.