So for my next project, I picked another old frame. This one was bought in a thrift store with a name plate on it: Tobias Stranover. There was no work in it – just the frame with a name. Someone had shifted the orientation and made it landscape – so the work or print that was in it had been long gone but the name remained. I did a search for Tobias and found he was a leading decorative painter in England.
“Tobias Stranover (Stranovius), one of the leading decorative painters working in England in the early part of the 18th-century, was born in Nagyszeben, Hungary (now Sibiu, Romania). He was the son of the local painter Jeremias Stranover (?-1702). His elder brother, Jeremias Stranover was also a painter in Nagyszeben, just like his father-in-law, Jacob Bogdani (Jakab Bogdny). Stranover travelled to Germany and England and settled in London where he married Elizabeth Bogdani, daughter of Jacob Bogdani. It is thought that the two artists collaborated together, painting exotic birds and wild life. Together with Bogdani, Stranover was one of the foremost decorative painters working in England in the early part of the 18th century. They specialized in the painting of exotic birds and wildlife, their work brought a lightness and exoticism to English still-life and animal paintings which were missing in the early English works of Marmaduke Craddock and Francis Barlow.
Although examples of Stranover s work can be found in the museums of Hamburg, Dresden and Budapest, his work is most commonly found in old English collections. His extensive knowledge of the different fruits and birds of the world can be seen in his paintings and his later works become more detailed and much fuller.”
A few pictures… and I’m afraid that my search for Tobias may inform what I actually do for this painting.