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Daniel Gran

Wien 1694 -
St. Pölten 1757


Daniel Gran was probably born on 22 May 1694 in either Vienna or Brno (Brünn). His first teachers were Pancraz Ferg and Gregor Werle. The latter (who was in the employ of Prince Adam Franz Schwarzenberg) was instrumental in introducing Daniel Gran to his future princely patron. Funding from Prince Schwarzenberg enabled Daniel Gran to spend two years of study in Italy (1719-20), during which he worked in Venice for Sebastiano Ricci and Francesco Solimena in Naples. Gran's subsequent work reveals the influence of Venetian colourism and Neapolitan composition.
On his return to Austria, Daniel Gran executed numerous commissions for the Schwarzenbergs until May 1735. He did a ceiling fresco in Schloss Hirschstetten (ca 1721) and worked between 1724 and 1728 on frescoes in the Schwarzenbergs' Viennese palace (Domed Hall, Grand Gallery, Cabinet).
Daniel Gran was appointed painter to the imperial court in 1727. In this capacity he executed the frescoes in the "Prunksaal of the Viennese Hofbibliothek" in 1730 - complement Fischer von Erlach's architecture and much praised. After 1735 Daniel Gran concentrated on working for Austrian monasteries.
The high point of this phase is represented by the frescoes in the pilgrimage church on the Sonntagberg (1743) and the interior decoration of the Kaisersaal at Stift Klosterneuburg (1749). Daniel Gran decorated numerous interiors during his career and his art was also circulated in the for of designs executed by other artists. Gran's austere style anticipates Classicism.
In 1744-45 Daniel Gran settled at Sankt Pölten, where he died on 16 April 1757. Most of his works can still be admired in the architectural contexts for which they were conceived.