Tending to the Horses
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Georg Emmanuel Opitz ( Prague 1775 - Leipzig 1841 )
Born in Prague in 1775, Opitz studied law for a short time before moving to the Academy of Arts in Dresden, where he studied under Giovanni Battista Casanova (1730-1795). In the early part of his career he worked as a portrait painter before moving to Vienna in 1801. It was here that he started to develop as a genre painter, painting scenes of everyday life; although these paintings are often laden with satire and social commentary, their warmth and charm is undeniable. Opitz moved to Paris in 1814 and was there during the occupation of the city by Russian forces. This is why, despite the fact Opitz never set foot in Russia, some of his work reflects a close observation of Russian soldiers and Cossacks. After sojourns in Heidelberg and Altenburg he settled in Leipzig in 1820. There he became a professor at the Academy of Arts and worked for Urania magazine, producing genre works until his death in 1841.