Maria Katharina Prestel
July 22 1747 - March 16 1794
Johann Gottlieb Prestel, Maria Katharina Prestel, 1780. Pastel on paper. (c) Historisches Museum Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany/Horst Ziegenfusz. www.frankfurter-frauenzimmer.de
Place of Birth:
mah-REE-ah kaht-ah-REEN-ah PREH-stehl
Drawings and prints, Painting
Aquatinter, Engraver, Etcher, Painter, Pastelist, Watercolorist
Maria Katharina Prestel was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1747. She began studying printmaking with German painter and engraver Johann Gottlieb Prestel, under whose instruction she became a talented aquatinter and etcher. In 1769, she married her instructor and in 1777 gave birth to their first and only child, Ursula Magdalena Prestel. Prestel left her husband in 1786 and moved to England with her daughter.
In London, Prestel enjoyed a successful career as an engraver and was highly acclaimed for her large landscape prints. Her use of aquatint enabled her to skillfully reproduce the subtleties of romanticized landscape paintings and wash drawings by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough and William Hodges. Before her death in 1794, she produced more than seventy-three plates after works by Italian, Dutch and German masters. Her daughter Ursula Magdalena Prestel, having learned printing techniques from her mother and father during her youth, moved to Brussels where she continued to work as an engraver and painter.
mother of Ursula Magdalena Prestel
wife and student of Johann Gottlieb Prestel