Salomon Gessner, the Swiss pastoral poet also painted and engraved landscapes. He was born in Zurich where he was a book seller. His poem 'Tod Abels', a type of heroic prose poem, published in 1758, enjoyed the greatest success.
The present miniature is inspired by an oil painting by Anton Graff (1781/2), illustrated in E. Berckenhagen, Anton Graff, Berlin, 1967, p. 145, no. 453.