Johann Michael Rottmayr (1654–1730) was born in Laufen, Austria, to a mother whose pursuit of painting likely encouraged his own. After his early schooling, he spent 13 years in Venice. When he returned to Austria, employed by the Prince-Bishop of Salzburg, he was the first Austrian to dislodge Italian painters from their popularity among the aristocracy. For most of his life, he collaborated with his close friend, the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. Eventually the two men moved to Vienna, where Rottmayr continued to paint frescoes on the ceilings of Fischer’s buildings. By the end of his life, he was the most renowned painter in the Hapsburg empire.