Liss was born in Oldenburg (Holstein) in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. After an
initial education in his home state, he continued his studies, according to
Houbraken, with Hendrick Goltzius in Haarlem and Amsterdam. Around 1620 he
travelled through Paris to Venice. He moved to Rome around 1620-2, and his first
works there were influenced by the style of Caravaggio.
Although his earlier work was concerned with the contrasts of light and shadow,
his final move to Venice in the early 1620s modified his style and gave impetus
to brilliant color and a spirited treatment of the painted surface.In 1627, he
was created an admired large altarpiece, the Inspiration of Saint Jerome in San
Nicolò da Tolentino. His loose brushstrokes seem precursor to rococo styles of
Guardi brothers.This final style, along with that of other "foreign" painters
residing in Venice, Domenico Fetti and Bernardo Strozzi, represent the first
inroads of Baroque style into the republic.
Liss fled to Verona to escape the Plague spreading in Venice, but succumbed
there prematurely in 1629. According to Houbraken, he worked day and night on
his paintings, so that Joachim von Sandrart felt that his health was at risk and
urged him to join him in Rome,
His legacy is as a painter of both sensuous mythological and pious biblical
subjects, a master of colors and Baroque painting. He was most influential to
Venetian 18th century painters like Sebastiano Ricci, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
and Giovanni Piazzetta.
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