Leopold Layer

Leopold Layer was one of eight children born on 20 November 1752 to Anna Maria Egartner, a Carinthian, and Mark Layer, a painter from Kranj. The Layer family had been involved in painting for several generations, his grandfather Josip was also a painter, and his younger brothers Valentin and Anton, also painters, helped Leopold in running the family painting workshop. After Leopold’s death on 12 April 1828, the painting craft was continued in the house by his stepson Jožef Egartner, followed by his son Jožef Jr. Layer’s oeuvre is extremely extensive. He was a skilful painter, especially of folk art, and in the 19th century almost every house in Kranj could boast a painting by him. His most famous work is the graceful image of Our Lady Help of Christians, which is on display in the church at Brezje. In 1809, Kranj was occupied by the French, who declared the province of Illyria. Due to the general shortage, the talented Layers began to counterfeit money. They did this in the technique of Perisba, and they falsified paper Austria’s banknotes of 10 and 50 goldinars. 28. On 28 June 1810, the authorities discovered the forgeries and imprisoned the brothers Valentin and Leopold, his wife and a maid. Valentin died in the city prison (located at Pungert), but Leopold was released in 1813. As a sign of penance, he was commissioned to paint the chapel at Brezje.

Painting: Leopold Layer: Finding Moses. Photo: Andraž Muljavec

“Leopold Layer was of large stature, with a high and broad forehead, and lively eyes, which shone with good-naturedness as well as wit. He was cheerful and jocular in company.” Gruden, Josip (et al.): Carniola. Museum Association for Carniola, 1914.

“The most prolific of our local artists is undoubtedly Leopold Layer from Kranj, /… who / has conjured up for us on canvas from everyday life sometimes such mundane and heartfelt individualities that they seem poetic and sublime.” Mantuani, Josip: The pictorial art of our lands in bygone ages Home and World, 1922.

“More than just witty is Dr. Stelet’s excellent observation that Leopold Layer was the first consciously Carnian artist. /…/ He became so popular through his diligent, solid work that he has become a legend in the popular memory.” Emilijan Cevc: Slovenian Art. Prešernova družba, 1966.

Painting: Leopold Layer, self-portrait.

prijava na layer obvestila

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