Monday, June 22, 2015

Karl Ernst Papf

oil on canvas
36 x 24.5 cm
Private collection

Karl Ernst Papf, or Ernesto Papf (1833-1910) was a German-born Brazilian photographer, painter and designer. He came from a family of miners that originated in Freiberg. Not wishing to follow the family profession, he enrolled at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts where, in 1852. In 1867, he received an offer of employment from a photography studio, and moved to Brazil with his wife and young son.

He initially worked in Recife, then moved to Salvador in 1872 remaining there until 1877. Seeking greater opportunities, he again moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1878. The following year, he was commissioned to paint members of the Imperial Family. In addition to his commercial work, he painted still-lifes and landscapes. In 1880, he settled in Petropolis, and by 1885 had established his own studio. The Imperial Family became one of his regular clients.

As the rapidly expanding coffee industry created a spurt of growth in Sao Paulo, in 1899, he bought a farm, called Palmeiras Ranch, in the vicinity and opened a new studio there.